Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 2009-2013. Employment and Work-related Risk Factor 3. Earnings of Low-skilled Workers

04/01/2013

Figure WORK 3a. Median Weekly Wages of Women and Men Working Full-Time with Less than 4 Years of High School Education by Race and Ethnicity (2009 Dollars): 1980-2009

Note: Last data point is 2009. Full-time workers usually work 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: Current Population Survey, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • Figure WORK 3a shows the median weekly wages in 2009 dollars of low-skilled women and men (those with less than 4 years of high school education) working full-time by race and ethnicity for selected years. This measure of low skill is based only on educational attainment and does not take other skills based on work experience, training or other credentials into account.
  • In 2009, Non-Hispanic White women with less than a high school education working full-time had median weekly earnings of $378 compared to $391 for similar Non-Hispanic Black women and $355 for similar Hispanic women of any race. Among men working full-time with less than 4 years of high school education, Non-Hispanic White men had median weekly earnings of $504, compared to $453 for Non-Hispanic Black men and $469 for Hispanic men of any race.
  • Table WORK 3a provides the detailed estimates used for Figure WORK 3a expressed in constant dollars. In 2009, low-skilled Non-Hispanic Black women working full-time had the highest median weekly wages among women working full-time with less than four years of a high school education at $391. This represents an 8.9 percent increase in their median weekly wages between 1995 and 2009. Over the same time period, similar Non-Hispanic White women experienced a 2.4 percent increase in their median weekly wages while similar Hispanic women of any race experienced an 8.9 percent increase.
  • Among low-skilled men working full-time, median weekly wages increased 0.4 percent among Non-Hispanic White men but increased 3.0 percent among Non-Hispanic Black men between 1995 and 2009. Low-skilled Hispanic men working full-time had a 14.7 percent increase in median weekly wages over the same time period.

Table WORK 3.a. Median Weekly Wages of Women and Men Working Full-Time with less than 4 Years of High School Education by Race and Ethnicity (2009 Dollars): 1980-2009

 WomenMen
Non-Hispanic WhiteNon-Hispanic BlackHispanic2Non-Hispanic WhiteNon-Hispanic BlackHispanic2
1979$424$394$385$724$575$575
1980411387367689538555
1981403380378668536525
1982399371371649512512
1983403385356639512506
1984399374358625496494
1985390369344618498492
1986394372344626510493
1987390376365609517491
1988389373357599502467
1989394359356603486476
1990385369350576487463
1991387369344551468444
19921385377541470
1993386383535469
1994372355332502458418
1995369359326502440409
1996365368334494441417
1997368361341498438416
1998373363343514451422
1999373369341514476438
2000380377360509501447
2001384371368511481463
2002387374362509478466
2003386378366504491458
2004380370354512472456
2005374372355510444455
2006378382346507446447
2007381387355503464443
2008377381359500447470
2009378391355504453469
 
Note: Full-time usually work 35 hours per week. Data adjusted to constant 2009 dollars by ASPE using the CPI-U-RS.
1Beginning in 1992, data on educational attainment have been based on the "highest diploma or degree received," rather than the "number of years of school completed." Data for 1994 forward are not directly comparable with data for 1993 and earlier years due to a redesign of the Current Population Survey. Data for 2000-2002 have been revised to incorporate population controls from Census 2000 and new industry and occupational classification systems. The earnings data presented in this table may differ slightly from other published estimates due to methodological differences in calculating medians.
2For 1992 and 1993, earnings data by educational attainment are not available for persons of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity age 25 and over. Beginning in 2003, data refer to persons who selected this race group only; previously, persons identified a group as their main race. In addition, persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race and, therefore, are classified by ethnicity as well as by race.
 
SOURCE: Current Population Survey, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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