Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 2003. Employment and Work-related Risk Factor 3. Earnings of Low-skilled Workers

03/01/2003

Figure WORK 3. Mean Weekly Wages of Men Working Full-Time, Full-Year with No More than a High School Education, by Race (2001 Dollars): Selected Years

Source: ASPE tabulations of March CPS data.

  • Mean weekly wages for full-time work by men with no more than a high school diploma have decreased in real terms for much of the past quarter century, with some recovery in the late 1990s. In 2001, the mean weekly wage for low-skilled men working full-time was $660. This level is 4 percent above the 1995 weekly wages of $635 (in 2001 dollars), but 12 percent below the 1970 level of $747 (in 2001 dollars).
  • The gap between mean weekly wages for white and black men with low education levels has narrowed significantly over time, but expanded slightly in 2000 and 2001. In 1970, the mean weekly wage for low-skilled black men working full-time was $544 (in 2001 dollars), or 70 percent of the $773 average for white men. However, full-time working black men with no more than a high school education received 83 percent of the mean weekly wages of white men in 2001 ($560 compared to $677).

Table WORK 3: Mean Weekly Wages of Men Working Full-Time, Full-Year with No More than a High-School Education, by Race (2001 Dollars): Selected Years

  1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001
Note: Full-time, full-year workers work at least 48 weeks per year and 35 hours per week. White and black include those of Hispanic origin for all years.
Source: ASPE tabulations of March CPS data.
All Men $747 $746 $712 $688 $643 $635 $646 $658 $646 $658 $669 $660
White Men $773 $765 $732 $709 $661 $653 $664 $676 $662 $673 $686 $677
Black Men $544 $587 $553 $539 $531 $524 $544 $545 $552 $589 $581 $560

 

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