This month is when feminists in America have declared an unofficial holiday known as “Equal Pay Day.” They argue that women earn less than men. Therefore, in order to catch up with a man’s pay from 2018, a woman must work until April.
The editors of the Wall Street Journal remind us that the comparison between men’s wages and women’s wages isn’t really accurate when you consider other factors. “Women on average go into lower-paying fields, such as education. Mothers are likelier than fathers to choose flexibility over career advancement.” I have cited similar data in previous commentaries that also illustrates the problem of comparing the aggregate data without taking into account other important factors.
The editors point to a study by economist Mark Perry (American Enterprise Institute) who has suggested that we might want to implement an “Equal Death Day.” The point that he is making is the men tend to take jobs with a much higher fatality rate. Look at the top five most dangerous jobs.
Fishery workers have the highest fatality rate. Most are men. Next are lumberjacks, which are 98 percent male. After that are aircraft pilots, which is a profession that is 94 percent male. Roofers are 99 percent male, and garbage collectors are 88 percent male.
Mark Perry’s point is simple. When you look at the data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you discover that men are much more likely to be killed while working.
It is also worth mentioning that sometimes the increased risk does not show up in men’s paychecks. Logging workers, for example, average $42,340 a year. Which isn’t much higher than what preschool and kindergarten teachers make ($40,070).
This is just another illustration of the choices men and women make about their jobs based on lots of factors.