The Social Mobility of Baby Boom Women

by Colette Moran

One of the latest political footballs is how women are faring in the workplace, particularly their wages. A report from Pew’s Economic Mobility Project has six key facts that Brookings found notable. When comparing Baby Boom daughters to their parents:

1. All daughters earn more than their moms did, but most earn less than their dads, as shown below. (Sons are earning more than both parents.)

2. But as the above chart also shows, a high percentage of poor daughters are making more than their dads. (Nearly four out of five daughters from the bottom 20%.)

3. But those higher wages for poor women aren’t raising poor families’ overall incomes because of the marriage gap. (More on that here from Brad Wilcox at The Atlantic.)

4. Working daughters whose moms did not work seem to be marrying men who make more money, resulting in higher family incomes. (It’s unclear why.)

5. Daughters born in the bottom 40% tend to stay there (unlike the sons) and daughters born in the top 20% are more likely than the sons to drop downward.

6. Working has been good for daughters’ mobility, especially the poorest, compared to their moms.

Find the full report here.