Most Female Federal Workers Earn Less Than $50,000

Yes, the unemployment rate is at its lowest in two years, now standing at 8.8%. With a government shutdown looming, many federal employees face a furlough of possibly indefinite length (see the New York Times). This shutdown, and the likely financial problems for many employees, may have a disproportionate impact on women who are federal workers.

According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), women make up 48 percent of the full-time, civilian federal workforce. However, women are overrepresented among federal workers with lower salaries: Women comprise 60 percent of federal workers with annual salaries under $50,000, but only 38 percent of federal workers with annual salaries over $100,000.

That is, the majority of women who are employed by the federal government work in lower-level, and lower-paying jobs, and stand to feel the pain of a furlough more quickly than many others. For instance: As noted in the New York Times, a government shutdown would mean that on-site child care centers run by many government agencies would be closed. Workers who are furloughed could of course care for their own children, but private-sector employees who use the centers and federal workers deemed ‘essential’ will have to make some very last-minute arrangements.

In 2009, female full-time workers made 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, a gender wage gap of 23 percent, says the IWPR. While 40 percent of women who work for the government have a salary of less than $50,000, 62 percent of those with salaries over $100,000 are male.

Currently, women comprise about half of the US workforce. But for more than half of those women who work for our government, the pay scale is lopsided, to say the least.


Previous Care2 Coverage

Jobs Are Coming Back, But Expect to Be Paid a McWage You Can’t Live On

Unemployment Rate at Its Lowest in Two Years


Photo by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.


Diane L.
Diane L5 years ago

Duncan, what on earth does it have to do with the topic that somebody bought steaks and soda with food stamps? It's food, and food stamps go to buy food. It may not be ethical, but it's not illegal, nor does it have a single thing to do with the discussion, which is about women not making more than men (which is untrue) and the average federal wage being $50,000 or less (which is hardly at the poverty level).

No, Obama isn't responsible for the deficit, and if it makes you happy in your obviously anti-Democratic mind to say he is, then prove it. He took over an administration that had turned a positive (in the black)budget into the huge deficit it became, and Obama doesn't control the spending all by himself, either. If he should forfeit his salary (which is less than many in the private sector who lead a college athletic team or even lobbyists), then how about making it a rule that every elected politician, including the Republicans do the same? Think there's be a snowball's chance in HELL of that passing the House?

Duncan O'neil
Duncan O'neil5 years ago

"Keep in mind that Obama didn't create any of this, so why should he forfeit his pay and pension?"

You really believe that BHO has not raised the deficit by 3 time in just two years! WOW!

Duncan O'neil
Duncan O'neil5 years ago

Someone in WI using food stamps bought 5 cases of Mtn Dew, 9 lobsters, and a couple of Porterhouse!

Seem reasonable to you?

Diane L.
Diane L5 years ago

Lee, if you're going to compare government (Federal)employees to those in the private sector, please make sure they're doing the same, compare apples to apples, and not apples to oranges. Where are you coming up with the idea that federal employees don't pay for health care and pensions, or that we, in the private sector always do? It depends on who you work for. As a retired Teamster, I can tell you that I didn't pay for employer did. You also said
"And since it is the president and congress who have put us in this mess, I vote they all forfeit their pay and pensions to be put against the deficit until it's gone". Keep in mind that Obama didn't create any of this, so why should he forfeit his pay and pension? I quite agree that any congressperson should not get any increase and that they shouldn't automatically get healthcare and a pension for only serving one term, however.

Yes, the federal payroll is bloated.......has been for a very long time. It didn't start with Obama's Administration, and since the G.O.P. controls the House, we might start pointing fingers there. You say Obama has hired 200,000 workers in this recession? Well, that hadn't been the case, guess there would be 200,000 fewer employed, period.

ALL of this is off-topic, however, but then the entire premise of the article is unfactual.

Lee S.
Lee S.5 years ago

The federal government payroll is bloated with it being the largest employer in the USA.

If you read the US Constitution, it's plain that our Constitution was drafted to PREVENT exactly the powerful corrupt courts and government we now have. Government has to get smaller.

Only the old and disabled should be on government assistance.
No government funds for women to squeeze out more babies. I deeply resent that food stamps are increased with every additional child.

Federal employees collectively owe 1 BILLION in backtaxes. This should not be..their wages should be garnished and further infractions they should be fired.

Obama has hired about 200,000 federal employees during this recession. Sheer idiocy. Search on US Agencies A to Z and you will know why we are in debit...too many fingers in too many pies.

The federal government pay should not be higher than private pay. Federal employees should have to pay for their healthcare and pensions from their salary like rest of us.

And since it is the president and congress who have put us in this mess, I vote they all forfeit their pay and pensions to be put against the deficit until it's gone.

Diane L.
Diane L5 years ago

Jeannie N., I quite agree! $50,000/year isn't peanuts. I'm retired and earned what I thought was an above-average hourly wage in the trucking industry, and when I retired, my pension, plus S.S. about equaled what I'd earn if it was "just" a 40-hour week, but I usually got 10-12 hours overtime. I figured it out that the cost of commuting back & forth, lunches at work, etc., made it work out, but I can tell you it's a lot less than $50,000/year! I don't know many who can make that much anymore.

Jassmine, I can't imagine where you're coming up with this nonsense. Yes, many women do get advancement via sexual favors, but it's not the norm, and most places, by law, have to pay women the same as men. Government jobs aren't any different. A woman working for the USPS, for example, gets paid exactly the same as a male doing the same job. I guess stats can be "skewed" to substantiate whatever somebody wants them to show. Go to any DSHS office and you'll find most of the workforce female. A case worker averages well above $50,000/year. That's just one example. Female cops get paid the same as men, but maybe they aren't promoted as much. I do know the head of the Sheriff's Dept. of the largest county in Washington State is female, as is our Governor and both State Senators. They get the same pay as if they were male.

Marie W.
Marie W5 years ago

Ducan on the issue, "greater percentage of females make it to the higher grades than males make it to those same grades?"
One that's a confusing sentence; and two where did you get that idea from? Can you substantiate it at all?
Below are facts:
Though women comprise 51% of the U.S. population at the beginning of fiscal year 2000, women only accounted for 24 percent of GS-15's and 23.4 percent of SES jobs. As of September 30, 2002, women represented 44.0 percent of all federal workers, slightly below their representation in the civilian labor force (46.6 percent). In the GS 9-12 grade range 46.3% are female and in the GS 13-15 grades only 32.4%.
Not exactly equal to population.

Also, I note most of the women are 2x qualified for most positions they apply for. Example a man can obtain a GS-12 position with a High School degree (I have seen this many times) while the female applicant has to have at least a Bachelors and more likely a Masters.

Duncan O'neil
Duncan O'neil5 years ago

Nobody forced them! Question, if the men are off to war who is making the babies?

Men don't suffer in war?

Original Message:

Jassmine left a comment on the following article:

Most Female Federal Workers Earn Less Than $50,000
If you look back before woman won the right to vote... they were forced to do the jobs men did, while they were at war.. did the men in the service suffer, hell no. the women did, they still had to work, have children , raise them, keep up the house hold. all by them selfs.when the men returned, they were put back into the homes... where we belong. not in the workforce.. making the same wages.. those days are still here as far as us women are concerned

Kirthi Sagar
Past Member 5 years ago

good, women in the United States hold responsibility
so the govt must support them by giving even more responsibility and jobs

J C Bro
J C Brou5 years ago

Thanks for this word.