Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 2002. Employment and Work-related Risk Factor 2. Employment Among the Low-skilled

03/01/2002

Figure WORK 2. Percentage of All Persons Ages 18 to 65 with No More than a High School Education Who Were Employed: 1969-2001

Figure WORK 2. Percentage of All Persons Ages 18 to 65 with No More than a High School Education Who Were Employed: 1969-2001

Source: ASPE tabulations of March CPS data.

 

  • Between 1996 and 2001, employment rates of black and Hispanic women with a high school education or less rose significantly, to 67 percent and 61 percent, respectively. Low-skilled white women experienced less of an increase in employment over this time period but still had the highest employment level in 2001 (69 percent) among the three racial/ethnic groups.
  • Employment levels for white and Hispanic men with no more than a high school education have hovered close to 85 percent for close to two decades. In contrast, employment levels for low-skilled black men have varied over the same period. Between 1969 and 1984, employment rates for black men with no more than high school education fell by 20 percentage points. Since 1984, these rates have fluctuated, with the most recent five years showing a slight increase from 70 to 73 percent.
  • As shown in Figure and Table WORK 2, employment levels for black men with a high school education or less were 6 percentage points higher than those of similarly educated black women in 2001. In contrast, there was a 16-percentage point difference in employment levels of white men and white women with a high school education or less, and a 26-percentage point difference between similarly educated Hispanic men and Hispanic women.

Table WORK 2. Percentage of All Persons Ages 18 to 65 with No More than a High School Education Who Were Employed: 1969-2001

  Men   Women
White Black Hispanic White Black Hispanic
1969 92.8 89.9 N/A 55.8 65.8 N/A
1970 92.1 89.2 N/A 56.1 64.9 N/A
1972 90.9 86.1 N/A 55.2 59.4 N/A
1973 91.1 84.3 N/A 55.6 58.1 N/A
1976 88.2 78.8 86.2 58.3 57.2 49.7
1978 88.3 78.6 89.8 59.8 57.4 51.4
1980 88.6 78.5 89.4 62.3 58.7 55.0
1981 88.0 75.3 87.4 62.3 57.4 53.0
1982 87.3 74.4 87.9 62.3 57.7 52.1
1983 85.4 71.3 85.4 60.7 56.2 50.6
1984 84.8 69.9 84.6 61.4 55.3 50.8
1985 86.1 71.6 83.9 62.9 58.4 53.1
1986 85.7 74.5 84.1 63.7 59.4 52.4
1987 86.3 74.2 86.7 64.4 60.3 53.0
1988 86.6 73.9 85.6 65.8 59.9 54.0
1989 86.5 74.1 87.8 66.4 61.3 54.6
1990 86.6 74.0 86.2 67.2 60.9 55.8
1991 87.4 75.6 85.4 66.8 60.4 55.0
1992 86.2 73.9 85.0 66.5 60.7 54.6
1993 85.5 71.4 83.7 65.9 57.8 53.3
1994 84.4 71.1 83.5 66.1 59.9 52.2
1995 84.7 69.3 83.2 66.6 60.7 53.3
1996 85.5 70.2 83.3 67.0 59.7 53.9
1997 85.6 70.0 84.0 67.7 63.6 55.4
1998 85.3 71.8 85.0 67.7 66.1 56.9
1999 85.4 71.9 85.5 67.9 66.8 57.1
2000 85.0 72.2 86.4 68.9 68.3 58.8
2001 85.1 72.9 86.5 68.6 67.4 61.0

Note: All data reflect employment rates for March of the given year. White and Black includes those of Hispanic origin for all years. Hispanic was not available until 1975.

Source: ASPE tabulations of March CPS data.

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