Welfare Indicators and Risk Factors: Fourteenth Report to Congress. Employment and Work-related Risk Factor 3. Earnings of Low-skilled Workers

09/22/2015

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 (2012 Dollars): 1980-2012

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 (2012 Dollars): 1980-2012

Note: Data are adjusted to constant 2012 dollars by ASPE using the CPI-U-RS. Full-time workers usually work at least 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 trend in median weekly wages in 2012 dollars of low-skilled women and men (those with less than four years of high school education) working full-time by race and ethnicity. This measure of low skill is based only on educational attainment and does not take into account other skills based on work experience, training or other credentials.
  • In 2012, White women with less than four years of high school education working full-time had median weekly earnings of $389 compared to $377 for similar Black women and $369 for similar Hispanic women of any race.
  • Among men working full-time with less than four years of high school education, White men had median weekly earnings of $515 compared to $446 for Black men and $486 for Hispanic men of any race in 2012. There has been a narrowing of the median weekly earnings gap between White men and both Black men and Hispanic men over time.
  • Table WORK 3a shows the detailed estimates of median wages for low-skilled women and men working full time by race and ethnicity.
  • Men who were working full-time and had less than four years of high school education have had consistently higher median weekly earnings than similar women, though men have experienced greater declines in median weekly earnings over time between 1980 and 2012 than have women.

Table 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 (2012 Dollars): 1979-2012

 

 

Women

Men

White

Black

Hispanic2

White

Black

Hispanic2

1979

$461

$428

$419

$786

$625

$625

1980

447

420

398

748

584

603

1981

437

413

410

725

582

570

1982

433

403

403

705

556

556

1983

438

418

387

694

556

549

1984

433

406

389

679

538

536

1985

423

401

374

671

541

535

1986

428

404

373

679

554

535

1987

424

408

396

661

561

534

1988

422

405

388

651

545

507

1989

428

390

386

655

528

517

1990

418

401

380

625

529

503

1991

420

400

374

599

509

482

1992 1

418

410

587

511

1993

419

416

581

510

1994

404

385

361

546

497

454

1995

401

390

354

545

478

445

1996

396

399

362

537

479

452

1997

399

392

370

541

476

452

1998

405

394

372

558

490

458

1999

405

401

370

558

517

475

2000

413

410

391

553

544

486

2001

417

403

400

555

522

503

2002

421

407

394

553

519

506

2003

419

410

398

547

533

498

2004

413

402

385

556

513

496

2005

406

405

385

554

482

494

2006

410

415

375

551

484

485

2007

413

420

385

546

504

481

2008

409

413

389

543

486

511

2009

411

425

386

547

492

509

2010

408

429

389

521

498

473

2011

408

399

390

512

463

466

2012

389

377

369

515

446

486

Note: Full-time workers usually work at least 35 hours per week.  Data are adjusted to constant 2012 dollars by ASPE using the CPI-U-RS.

1 Beginning 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.

2 For 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.


Figure WORK 3b. Median Weekly Wages of Women and Men Working Full-Time with 4 Years of High School Education with No College by Race and Ethnicity (2012 Dollars): 1980-2012

Figure WORK 3b. Median Weekly Wages of Women and Men Working Full-Time with 4 Years of High School Education with No College by Race and Ethnicity (2012 Dollars): 1980-2012

Note: Full-time workers work at least 35 hours per week. Data are adjusted to constant 2012 dollars by ASPE using the CPI-U-RS. 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 3b shows the trend in median weekly wages in 2012 dollars for women and men with four years of high school education but no college who are working full-time by race and ethnicity. This measure of low skill is based only on educational attainment and does not take into account other skills based on work experience, training or other credentials.
  • In 2012, White women with four years of high school education and no college who were working full-time had median weekly earnings of $581 compared to $499 for similar Black women and $501 for similar Hispanic women of any race. There has been relatively little change in these median weekly wages over time.
  • Among men working full-time with four years of high school education and no college, median weekly earnings of White men were $760 compared to $604 for Black men and $624 for Hispanic men of any race. Median weekly earnings among men in all three racial and ethnic groups shown have declined over time since 1980.
  • Throughout the 1980 – 2012 time period, there is a notable and persistent gap between women and men’s wages. Men consistently earn higher median weekly wages than women, though the gap has narrowed over time.
  • There also is a racial and ethnic gap in median weekly wages among full time workers who have four years of high school education but no college, where White persons earn more than Black persons and Hispanic persons of any race. Among women, this racial and ethnic wage gap has increased over time.

Table WORK 3b.  Median Weekly Wages of Women and Men Working Full-Time with 4 Years of High School Education with No College by Race and Ethnicity (2012 Dollars): 1979-2012

 

 

Women

Men

White

Black

Hispanic2

White

Black

Hispanic2

1979

$556

$520

$526

$939

$751

$828

1980

544

509

519

902

735

783

1981

538

506

519

897

713

784

1982

554

508

531

885

688

772

1983

556

502

531

878

694

749

1984

559

513

542

869

679

743

1985

559

510

524

863

652

721

1986

568

521

525

866

659

714

1987

571

522

516

859

665

702

1988

571

515

528

855

660

698

1989

559

517

524

845

642

675

1990

551

498

527

822

615

670

1991

559

504

517

809

607

657

1992 1

560

498

799

592

1993

564

491

794

602

1994

561

473

507

794

595

631

1995

554

475

483

794

607

634

1996

554

478

480

797

591

615

1997

561

476

485

815

612

638

1998

577

508

512

831

628

662

1999

577

505

509

836

640

664

2000

584

519

511

822

664

659

2001

597

522

532

824

670

655

2002

609

528

523

827

654

656

2003

613

550

526

826

657

661

2004

612

564

535

826

641

643

2005

601

520

519

808

630

632

2006

589

526

494

813

627

657

2007

588

528

527

807

617

656

2008

579

519

518

798

629

652

2009

604

540

538

804

639

645

2010

596

524

524

786

634

630

2011

592

511

519

772

619

628

2012

581

499

501

760

604

624

Note: Full-time workers work at least 35 hours per week.  Data adjusted to constant 2012 dollars by ASPE using the CPI-U-RS.

1 Beginning 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.

2 For 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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