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Murphy, Frankel cite ’77 cents’ statistic on women’s earnings; their staffs have bigger gender pay gaps

by George Bennett | April 14th, 2014

Democratic Reps. Patrick Murphy and Lois Frankel

Democratic Reps. Patrick Murphy and Lois Frankel joined President Barack Obama and other Democrats last week in promoting “Equal Pay Day” and its much-repeated statistic that women earn 77 cents for every dollar men are paid.

In Murphy’s and Frankel’s congressional offices, the gap between the average earnings of male and female staffers is even greater. Subscribers to can find more detail and context in this week’s Politics column.

A review of House records shows Murphy and Frankel provide similar pay to men and women who hold similar jobs. But women outnumber men in lower-paying jobs on both staffs, dragging down the overall female average compared to men.

The “77 cents” statistic promoted by the American Association of University Women and others — and cited by Murphy here and here and by Frankel here and here — is not a measure of what men and women make in similar jobs. It’s based on the median income for all women in all jobs compared to the median income for all men in all jobs.

Frankel spokesman Jeremy Tomasulo said it’s unfair to compare the national “77 cents” figure to a congressional office.

“First, the oft-cited statistic that women make 77 cents of every dollar men make is a useful tool to describe our economy of 140 million full and part-time workers as a whole,” Tomasulo responded after the Politics column was published. “For instance, by looking at our entire economy we see that occupations dominated by women often earn less than occupations dominated by men. We also see that in many specific occupations, such as computer programming, financial management, medical science, men still earn more than women for comparable work. When using data from a small business, or congressional staff of 12 for that matter, it’s hard to make a meaningful comparison to the overall economy because even one salary can skew the analysis as it did in the examples you used.”

7 Responses to “Murphy, Frankel cite ’77 cents’ statistic on women’s earnings; their staffs have bigger gender pay gaps”

  1. A Good Start Says:

    As long as Men and Women in similar jobs earn similar pay this whole debate is political BS. It’s a free country! Anyone, male or female, can educate themselves, train up, apply themselves and get any job they want and are QUALIFIED for.

  2. Average Joe Says:

    Two liberal hypocrits. What a surprise.

  3. Sid Dinerstein Says:

    Good post, George. I’m surprised your editors let you go with it.

  4. Jeremy Rodgers Says:

    Thank you for bringing this fact to light George. This is typical of the usual extreme liberal elite message of do what I say, not what I do.

    -Jeremy Rodgers

  5. luckysnap Says:

    I am for equal pay for equal work and performance. I am also for equal courtesy when it comes to paying for dates, holding doors, men or ladies first, all cancer awareness month(not just breast cancer).
    Men’s night at bars(men drink free).
    So ladies, how about a single standard?

  6. nemo Says:

    Since when has listening to lois frankel ever been a good idea? She is a liar, a thief, a politican…but I’m being redundant.

  7. Milo Says:

    Murphy and Frankel’s hypocrisy is only exceeded by their hypocrisy.

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