Women lose $513 billion a year in wages due to gender pay gap

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Women experience $513 billion in lost wages a year because of the stubborn pay gap that persists between them and their male peers, according to a new report from the American Association of University Women.

The consequences of women earning 80 cents on average for every dollar brought home by a man can impact nearly every aspect of their lives, from the ability to pay off college debt to their decisions about having children to how financially stable they are when they ultimately retire.

The wage disparity begins to widen almost immediately, with 20-year-old working women tending to earn 90 cents for every dollar paid to a male peer. But, by the time they turn 54, women are earning 22 cents less on average, according to the AAUW report.

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Report: Gender Pay Gap Is Actually Getting Worse for Millennial Women

Source: Alpha Stock Images - http://alphastockimages.com/ Creative Commons

Source: Alpha Stock Images - http://alphastockimages.com/ Creative Commons

Women between 25 and 34 years old are are actually slipping backwards when it comes to pay equality with men, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Money.com reports that according to BLS, in that age group millennial women made just under 89 cents on a man’s dollar in 2016, down from a high of 92 cents in 2011. That means the gender gap in median weekly earnings is the widest in seven years.

The dip is surprising, given that millennial women are increasingly highly-educated relative to their male peers. According to the article, part of the explanation could be that in recent years, gender-wage parity had been improving because men’s wages weren’t doing well. Now that the economy is improving, the gap appears to be widening again.