Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 2006. Employment and Work-related Risk Factor 3. Earnings of Low-skilled Workers

08/30/2006

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 (2004 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 (2004 Dollars): Selected Years

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1981-2005.


  • Average weekly wages of low-skilled women have been consistently lower than those of low-skilled men. For example, the average weekly wages of non-Hispanic black women without a high school education who worked full-time, full-year were 80 percent of those of men of the same race, education, and work status in 2004 ($465 compared to $583).
  • Non-Hispanic white women have had the highest average weekly wages among low-skilled women working full-time, full-year reaching $563 in 2004. This level is a 21 percent increase over their mean weekly wages in 1980. Over the same time period, non-Hispanic black women and Hispanic women’s weekly wages increased at slower rates (10 percent and 7 percent, respectively).
  • Average weekly wages for all low-skilled workers, except Hispanic men, decreased from 2003 to 2004. Wages for non-Hispanic black men decreased the most during this time period ($619 compared to $583), while low-skilled non-Hispanic white men had the smallest drop in wages ($784 compared to $779).
  • Over the past two decades, both Hispanic women and men’s wages have lagged behind nonHispanic whites and blacks among low-skilled full-time workers. In 2004, Hispanic women’s wages were 25 percent lower than non-Hispanic white women and 9 percent lower than non-Hispanic black women. Hispanic men trailed non-Hispanic white men by 32 percent and non-Hispanic black men by 9 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 (2004 Dollars): Selected Years

  Women Men
  Non-Hispanic White Non-Hispanic Black Hispanic Non-Hispanic White Non-Hispanic Black Hispanic
1980 464 424 396 767 570 578
1981 455 411 403 758 564 570
1982 460 418 401 740 547 547
1983 459 417 397 731 526 553
1984 464 433 404 748 526 558
1985 477 433 398 742 550 547
1986 481 433 418 756 549 530
1987 492 453 406 759 563 532
1988 493 438 406 756 592 536
1989 490 461 417 742 553 520
1990 494 453 396 715 551 508
1991 486 439 394 700 548 488
1992 496 443 411 710 540 502
1993 493 430 399 696 533 488
1994 502 445 402 708 547 486
1995 506 445 391 732 555 488
1996 512 471 405 753 580 486
1997 518 442 414 764 580 523
1998 538 449 418 747 586 520
1999 518 452 410 769 627 519
2000 537 456 401 791 623 530
2001 544 479 419 781 600 533
2002 554 494 423 780 606 556
2003 574 474 431 784 619 523
2004 563 465 422 779 583 533

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 not shown separately.

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1981-2005.

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