Fact Checker Slaps Obama’s Gender Wage Gap Claim with Two Pinocchios
What? Another lie from Obama?
Check it out:
Today, the average full-time working woman earns just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns…in 2014, that’s an embarrassment. It is wrong.”
–President Obama, remarks on equal pay for equal work, April 8, 2014
In 2012, during another election season, The Fact Checker took a deep dive in the statistics behind this factoid and found it wanting. We awarded the president only a Pinoochio, largely because he is citing Census Bureau data, but have wondered since then if we were too generous.
We also called out the president when he used this fact in the 2013 State of the Union address. And in the 2014 State of the Union address. And yet he keeps using it. So now it’s time for a reassessment.
The Truth Teller video above also goes through the details.
Few experts dispute that there is a wage gap, but differences in the life choices of men and women — such as women tending to leave the workforce when they have children — make it difficult to make simple comparisons.
Obama is using a figure (annual wages, from the Census Bureau) that makes the disparity appear the greatest—23 cents. But the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the gap is 19 cents when looking at weekly wages. The gap is even smaller when you look at hourly wages — it is 14 cents — but then not every wage earner is paid on an hourly basis, so that statistic excludes salaried workers.