The economic condition of the low-skill labor market is key to the ability of young adult men and women to support families without receiving means-tested assistance. This measure tracks trends in the earnings of low-skilled workers.
Figure WORK 3. Mean Weekly Wages of Men Working Full-Time, Full-Year with No More Than a High School Education (1995 Dollars), 1970 to 1994
Source: Table WORK 3.
- Mean weekly wages for full-time work by high school-educated men have decreased in real terms over the past quarter of a century. In 1970 the mean weekly wage for low-skilled men working full-time was $593 (in 1995 dollars); the comparable wage in 1994 was $523, representing a decrease of 12 percent.
- A large gap exists between mean weekly wages for high school-educated white and black men, although it has been narrowing over time. In 1970, the mean weekly wage for low-skilled black men working full-time was $432 (in 1995 dollars), or 70 percent of the $615 average for white men. In 1994, full-time working black men with no more than a high school education received 82 percent of the weekly wages of white men, or a mean wage of $446, compared to a mean wage for white men of $539. The narrowing of this gap is predominantly a result of the declining value of white men’s mean wages.
Table WORK 3. Mean Weekly Wages of Men Working Full-Time, Full-Year with No More Than a High School Education (1995 Dollars), 1970 to 1994
Note: Full-time, full-year workers work at least 48 weeks per year and 35 hours per week. These data have been weighted to create an average for all men with no more than a high school diploma using population numbers from U.S. Bureau of the Census, Current Population Reports, Series P-20. The population weights were calculated for 1970, 1980, and 1990 and the Other year weights were calculated using linear extrapolation.
Source: Blank, R., It Takes a Nation, 1997.
"Introduction" (pdf, 47.84Kb)
"Indicators of Dependence" (pdf, 152.45Kb)
"Predictors and Risk Factors Associated with Welfare Receipt (First Half)" (pdf, 158.1Kb)
"Predictors and Risk Factors Associated with Welfare Receipt (Second Half)" (pdf, 150.06Kb)
"Appendices (First Half)" (pdf, 182.84Kb)