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September 5 2013

Equal Pay Day Vs. Equal Occupational Fatality Day

Charlotte Hays

We’ve highlighted two different takes on Inkwell this week on the professional choices women make compared to those of men (here and here).

AEI’s Mark J. Perry has another one—and it includes an astonishing chart.

Perry notes that every year Equal Pay Day falls on April 9. Equal Pay Day is supposed to dramatize the gender wage gap (though even prominent liberal writer Hanna Rosin—see above—doesn’t buy the specific figures always cited by the left). Perry has an idea for another holiday: “Equal Occupational Fatality Day.”   

 “Equal Occupational Fatality Day” tells us how many years into the future women would have to work before they would experience the same number of occupational fatalities that occurred in the previous year for men.

A few weeks ago, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released new data on workplace fatalities for 2012, and a new “Equal Occupational Fatality Day” can now be calculated. As in previous years, the chart above shows the significant gender disparity in workplace fatalities in 2012: 4,045 men died on the job (92.3% of the total) compared to only 338 women (7.7% of the total). The “gender occupational fatality gap” in 2012 was considerable — almost 12 men died on the job for every woman who died while working.

Based on the new BLS data, [if the first EOFD had been held in 2010] the next “Equal Occupational Fatality Day” will occur more than years from now ­­– on December 20, 2023. That date symbolizes how far into the future women will be able to continue working before they experience the same loss of life that men experienced in 2012 from work-related deaths.  Because women tend to work in safer occupations than men on average, they have the advantage of being able to work for more than a decade longer than men before they experience the same number of male occupational fatalities in a single year.

One way to close the gender wage gap (and, again, we don't accept the left's inflated numbers), Perry argues, is for women to work in more hazardous occupations.

Would achieving the goal of perfect pay equity really be worth the loss of life for thousands of additional women each year who would die in work-related accidents?

Of course, the left has another idea: achieve your goals not by making different choices but by government fiat.

In light of the fatality gap, this hardly seems fair.

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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