The salaries of women are rising faster than those of men.

According to a report in Market Watch on a Pew Research survey, one reason is that women are moving into jobs in more lucrative fields:

Over the past few decades, women have moved out of jobs as food prep workers and administrative assistants and into roles as nurses, sales managers and lawyers, a new analysis by the Pew Research Center found. As they’ve entered these high-skills fields, their earning power has swelled rapidly — faster than men’s.

“On average women have moved into higher skill jobs — they’ve moved into jobs that were traditional male,” said Rakesh Kochhar, a senior researcher at Pew and author of the report. For instance, women held 25% of managerial jobs in 1980; today they hold 40% of those roles. “That’s a significant move up the ladder,” Kochhar said.

Women excel in jobs that require social skills:

Women have now surpassed men to hold more than half (52%) of the jobs in fields where social skills and “fundamental” skills are the most important, Pew found. Social skills include negotiation and persuasion; “fundamental” skills include critical thinking and writing. In 1980, women held just 40% of jobs where social skills were important and 36% of jobs where fundamental skills were important.

Women’s financial gains are significant:

Between 1980 to 2018, women’s average hourly wages increased 45% — from $15 to $22 — compared with an increase of 14% for men, from $23 to $26, Pew’s report found. As a result, the gender pay gap narrowed from 33 cents to the dollar in 1980 to 15 cents to the dollar in 2018.

We’re glad to see acknowledgement that the wage gap is shrinking. But it is actually much better than that.

The wage gap was always the result of such factors as college majors and the kinds of jobs women held. The wage gap, when these factors are considered, is 98 cents to the dollar. The  misleading stat of women earning 78 cents on the dollar is beloved on those who wish to see more government interventio in the market.

Despite the good news, the story insists that women are not entering a number of high-paying fields and that the gender wage gap remains higher than the one previously cited in the story, using the 78 cents to a dollar that is near and dear to those who want more government intervention in the workplac.

Interesting: in one place in the story the wage gap is 15 cents and yet the old 78 cents is cited in another. 

It is hard to reliquish the misleading figure.

Even in the face of good news.