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What the Gender-Pay Gap in Clothing Says About U.S. Wage Growth

  • Workers at men’s stores earn 56% more than in women’s apparel
  • Sector’s wage increases suggest pay will pick up more broadly
Hugh and Crye shirts hang on display at the store in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C.
Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Thinking of a job selling clothes? Better try a men’s store -- and avoid women’s wear -- if you want to make decent money.

Workers at men’s apparel stores earned an average $23.13 an hour in November, a whopping 56 percent more than the $14.81 wage at women’s retailers -- a gap that’s widened from less than 10 percent about two years earlier, according to Labor Department data. That’s bigger than can be explained by gender-pay differences that persist across hundreds of occupations.