The European Commission has recently published the latest edition of the Employment and Social Developments in Europe (ESDE) Quarterly Review, with a thematic focus on the gender pay gap among young workers, on occasion of the 2022 European Year of Youth.

This Quarterly Review shows that young women, aged between 25 and 29 face a 7.2% unadjusted gender pay gap at the start of their professional careers in the EU labour market.

However, the Review notes that pay differences between young women and men are difficult to explain based on available data and the situation varies considerably in different countries. Furthermore, certain differences in worker characteristics account for substantial pay differences. For instance, young men tend to earn more because they work in higher paid economic activities while young women earn higher wages because they are better educated.

Closing the gender pay gap is a priority for the European Commission. To this end, the Commission has presented a proposal for a Directive on equal pay for equal work for men and women through pay transparency and enforcement mechanisms. This proposal is currently being discussed by the European Parliament and the Council.