Successful Transitions Out of Low-Wage Work for TANF Recipients. Are low-wage opportunities with these types of employers expanding?


The study found that the number of job opportunities in the low-wage labor market grew substantially from 1997 to 2001. At the same time, there was little change in the share of job opportunities associated with greater wage growth. For example, employment growth by industry varied widely, with no clear trend toward or away from industries with greater exits into higher wage status. Low-wage workers' opportunity to work alongside higher-wage coworkers did improve, but only minimally. The same was true of the opportunity to work in neighborhoods with higher-wage workers. The study did find an increase in the wage premium (defined in footnote 2), both overall, and to a lesser extent, in firms, industries and neighborhoods where low-wage workers are most likely to be employed.

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