More millennial men are earning less, even with the gender pay gap in their favor, the U.S. Census Bureau reports
Millennial women earn less than men – yet these young ladies are the ones driving the economy.
That’s the surprising reveal from a new U.S. Census report on young adults, which found that young women are pulling ahead of many young men in the workforce.
“We can see this trend that men are falling toward the bottom of the income ladder, and young women’s economic gains are outpacing men,” Jonathan Vespa, the author of the report, told Moneyish.
The percentage of young men earning less than $30,000 (in 2015 dollars) has nearly doubled to 41% over the past 40 years. Meanwhile, the percentage of young women earning more than $60,000 grew from about 2% to 13%.
So what’s behind this trend? One contributing factor is education, Vespa said.
“Women’s educational gains are outpacing men. They are more likely to have a college degree,” he explained. There is a direct correlation between education and employment, with the most advanced degrees having the lowest unemployment rates, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Higher education is also linked, not surprisingly, to higher income.
And while more young women have been entering the workforce since 1975, young men have actually been dropping out of it. The number of men not in the labor force rose from 7.4% in 1975 to 11.2% last year.
It is possible that men are hurting from the disappearance of traditionally male, blue-collar manufacturing jobs. While the U.S. did add 26,000 factory jobs in February and 11,000 in March, manufacturing jobs are actually at 1940s levels thanks to automation and outsourcing.
Previous reports have highlighted this growing gender economic divide, including a 2010 study by a market research company that found the median full-time salaries of young women in big cities were 8% higher than those of the men in their peer group. “This generation [of women] has adapted to the fundamental restructuring of the American economy better than their older predecessors or male peers,” suggested study author James Chung.
Of course, the women who earned the most in this study were young, single and childless, and lived in metropolitan areas. Married women outside of those city centers earned less.