The Low-Wage Labor Market:

Challenges and Opportunities for Economic Self-Sufficiency

Logo of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Prepared by:
The Urban Institute

Prepared for:
Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Washington, D.C.
December 1999

Contents

Executive Summary

Preface
Authors

Introduction and Overview
     by Kelleen Kaye and Demetra Smith Nightingale

Section I:  What is the Low-Wage Labor Market and Has It Changed Over Time?

Defining and Characterizing the Low-Wage Labor Market
     by Jared Bernstein and Heidi Hartmann

Low-Wage Labor Markets:  The Business Cycle and Regional Differences
     by David M. Smith and Stephen A. Woodbury

Section II:  Policies Affecting the Low-Wage Labor Market

Can the Labor Market Absorb Three Million Welfare Recipients?
     by Gary Burtless

Does the Minimum Wage Help or Hurt Low-Wage Workers?
     by Mark D. Turner

Job Creation for Low-Wage Workers:  An Assessment of Public Service Jobs, Tax Credits, and Empowerment Zones
     by Burt S. Barnow

Section III:  Barriers to Entering the Low-Wage Labor Market

Matching and Mismatch in the Low-wage Labor Market:  Hiring Perspective
     by Harry Holzer

Matching and Mismatch in the Low-wage Labor Market:  Job Search Perspective
     by Julia R. Henly

Section IV:  Barriers to Advancement in the Low-Wage Labor Market

Work as a Stepping Stone for Low-Skilled Workers:  What is the Evidence?
     by Peter Gottschalk

The Role of Job Turnover in the Low-Wage Labor Market
     by Julia Lane

APPENDIX:  Statistical Data and Background Information

  1. Overall Labor Market
  2. Factors Affecting Low-Wage Employment
  3. Description of the Working Poor
  4. Health Insurance and Other Benefits


Where to?

Main Page and Contents | Preface | Chapter Authors ]
Executive Summary
Introduction & Overview
Defining & Characterizing the Low-Wage Labor Market
Low-Wage Labor Markets:  The Business Cycle and Regional Differences
Can the Labor Market Absorb Three Million Welfare Recipients?
Does the Minimum Wage Help or Hurt Low-Wage Workers?
Job Creation for Low-Wage Workers
Matching & Mismatch in the Low-wage Labor Market:  Hiring Perspective
Matching & Mismatch in the Low-wage Labor Market:  Job Search Perspective
Work as a Stepping Stone for Low-Skilled Workers
Job Turnover in the Low-Wage Labor Market
Appendix:  Statistical Data and Background Information

Home Pages:
Human Services Policy (HSP)
Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Last modified on 2/16/00