Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 2004. Employment and Work-related Risk Factor 3. Earnings of Low-skilled Workers

04/27/2005

Figure WORK 3. Mean Weekly Wages of Women and Men Working Full-Time, Full-Year with No More than a High School Education, by Race (2002 Dollars): Selected Years

Figure WORK 3. Mean Weekly Wages of Women and Men Working Full-Time, Full-Year with No More than a High School Education, by Race (2002 Dollars): Selected Years

Source: ASPE tabulations of March CPS data.


  • Women’s average weekly wages were lower than those of low-skilled men, across all race groups. In 2002, non-Hispanic white women had the highest average weekly wages among low-skilled women working full-time, full-year ($529). This level is a 15 percent increase over non-Hispanic white women’s 1980 average weekly wages ($459 inflation adjusted). Non-Hispanic black women and Hispanic women’s weekly wages increased at slower rate than non-Hispanic white women since 1980 (12 percent and 3 percent, respectively).
  • For men, the gap between mean weekly wages for non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black men with low education levels has narrowed over time. In 1980, the mean weekly wage for low-skilled non-Hispanic black men working full-time was $564 (in 2002 dollars), or 74 percent of the $758 average for non-Hispanic white men. However, full-time working non-Hispanic black men with no more than a high school education received 78 percent of the mean weekly wages of non-Hispanic white men in 2002 ($578 compared to $745).
  • Over the past fifteen years, both Hispanic women and men’s wages have lagged behind non-Hispanic whites and blacks among low-skilled full-time workers. In 2002, Hispanic women’s wages were 24 percent lower than non-Hispanic white women and 14 percent lower than non-Hispanic black women. Hispanic men had higher weekly wages than women but still trailed non-Hispanic white men by 29 percent and non-Hispanic black men by 8 percent.

Table WORK 3. Mean Weekly Wages of Women and Men Working Full-Time, Full-Year with No More than a High School Education, by Race (2002 Dollars): Selected Years

  Women Men
Non-Hispanic White Non-Hispanic Black Hispanic Non-Hispanic White Non-Hispanic Black Hispanic
1980 459 419 392 758 564 572
1981 448 405 397 747 556 562
1982 455 414 397 734 542 542
1983 461 418 398 733 528 554
1984 464 433 404 748 526 558
1985 477 433 397 741 549 547
1986 483 434 419 759 551 532
1987 489 451 404 754 560 528
1988 488 434 402 748 586 531
1989 483 454 411 730 545 512
1990 482 442 387 698 539 497
1991 476 430 386 685 537 478
1992 483 432 400 691 526 489
1993 478 417 387 675 517 474
1994 485 430 389 684 529 469
1995 487 428 376 704 534 469
1996 490 451 388 721 555 466
1997 497 424 397 732 556 502
1998 516 430 400 716 561 498
1999 494 431 392 734 599 495
2000 511 435 382 753 593 505
2001 520 458 400 747 574 509
2002 529 471 404 745 578 531

Note: Full-time, full-year workers work at least 48 weeks per year and 35 hours per week.

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.

Source: ASPE tabulations of March CPS data.

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