Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 2004. Employment and Work-related Risk Factor 2. Employment Among the Low-skilled

04/27/2005

Figure WORK 2. Percentage of All Persons Ages 18 to 65 with No More than a High School Education Who Were Employed: 1969-2002

Figure WORK 2. Percentage of All Persons Ages 18 to 65 with No More than a High School Education Who Were Employed: 1969-2002

Source: ASPE tabulations of March CPS data.


  • Employment rates for women with a high school education or less continued to drop in 2002, following several years of rising employment, particularly among non-Hispanic black and Hispanic women. Low-skilled non-Hispanic white women continued to have the highest employment level (70 percent in 2002) among the three racial/ethnic groups.
  • Employment levels for non-Hispanic white and Hispanic men with no more than a high school education have remained close to 85 percent for nearly to two decades. In contrast, employment levels for low-skilled non-Hispanic black men have varied over the same period. Between 1968 and 1983, employment rates for non-Hispanic black men with no more than high school education fell by 20 percentage points. Since 2000, these rates have fallen by more than 5 percentage points.
  • As shown in Figure and Table WORK 2, employment levels for non-Hispanic black men with a high school education or less were 3 percentage points higher than those of similarly educated non-Hispanic black women in 2002. In contrast, there was a 13 percentage point difference in employment levels of non-Hispanic white men and women with a high school education or less, and a 28 percentage point difference between similarly educated Hispanic men and women.

Table WORK 2. Percentage of All Persons Ages 18 to 65 with No More than a High School Education Who Were Employed: 1969-2002

  Men Women
Non-Hispanic White Non-Hispanic Black Hispanic Non-Hispanic White Non-Hispanic Black Hispanic
1968 92.8 89.9 N/A 55.8 65.8 N/A
1969 92.1 89.2 N/A 56.1 64.9 N/A
1971 90.9 86.1 N/A 55.2 59.4 N/A
1972 91.1 84.3 N/A 55.6 58.1 N/A
1975 88.2 78.8 86.2 58.3 57.2 49.7
1977 88.3 78.1 89.2 61.4 57.6 52.2
1979 88.5 78.7 89.4 62.9 58.9 55.0
1980 88.0 75.2 86.8 64.1 57.6 53.7
1981 87.4 74.5 87.6 64.0 57.5 53.0
1982 85.6 71.1 85.3 62.7 56.6 51.1
1983 84.8 70.2 85.2 63.5 55.3 51.7
1984 86.5 71.9 83.9 65.0 58.9 54.0
1985 86.1 74.6 83.9 66.0 59.4 52.9
1986 86.4 74.3 86.5 66.8 61.0 54.0
1987 86.7 73.9 85.6 67.3 59.9 54.0
1988 86.3 74.0 87.8 68.0 61.4 54.6
1989 87.7 75.3 86.6 68.8 61.1 55.8
1990 87.7 75.6 85.4 68.5 60.7 55.0
1991 86.4 73.9 85.0 68.3 61.0 54.6
1992 85.7 71.5 83.7 67.8 57.8 53.3
1993 84.6 71.2 83.5 68.6 60.0 52.2
1994 85.0 69.1 83.2 69.0 60.9 53.3
1995 85.9 70.1 83.3 69.6 60.1 53.9
1996 85.9 70.3 84.0 70.2 64.1 55.4
1997 85.3 72.0 85.0 69.9 66.6 56.9
1998 85.3 71.8 85.5 70.4 67.1 57.1
1999 84.5 72.0 86.4 71.4 68.4 58.8
2000 84.7 72.7 86.4 70.6 67.7 61.0
2001 83.4 69.9 85.5 69.8 64.8 59.2
2002 82.5 67.3 85.1 69.5 64.4 57.5

Note: All data include both full and partial year employment for the given calendar year.

Persons of Hispanic ethnicity may be of any race. Beginning in 2002, estimates for Whites and Blacks are for persons reporting a single-race only. Due to small sample size, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asians and Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders are included in the total for all persons but are not shown separately. Hispanic origin was not available until 1975.

Source: ASPE tabulations of March CPS data.

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