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

03/01/2014

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 (2011 Dollars): 1980-2011

(In 2011 $)

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 (2011 Dollars): 1980-2011

Note: Data are adjusted to constant 2011 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 2011 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 other skills based on work experience, training or other credentials into account.
  • In 2011, White women with less than four years of high school education working full-time had median weekly earnings of $394 compared to $385 for similar Black women and $377 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 $494, compared to $450 for Black men and $447 for Hispanic men of any race in 2011. 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 medium 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 2011.

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 (2011 Dollars): 1979-2011

  Women Men
White Black Hispanic2 White Black Hispanic2
1979 $445 $413 $404 $759 $603 $603
1980 431 405 385 722 564 582
1981 422 399 396 700 562 551
1982 418 389 389 680 537 537
1983 423 403 373 670 537 530
1984 419 392 375 656 520 518
1985 409 387 361 648 522 516
1986 413 390 360 656 535 517
1987 409 394 383 638 542 515
1988 407 391 375 628 526 490
1989 413 377 373 632 510 499
1990 404 387 367 604 510 485
1991 406 387 361 578 491 465
19921 404 396 567 493
1993 405 402 561 492
1994 390 372 348 527 480 438
1995 387 377 341 526 462 429
1996 383 385 350 518 462 437
1997 386 379 358 523 460 436
1998 391 380 360 539 473 442
1999 391 387 358 539 499 459
2000 398 396 377 534 525 469
2001 403 389 386 536 504 485
2002 406 393 380 534 501 489
2003 405 396 384 528 515 481
2004 399 388 371 537 495 479
2005 392 391 372 535 465 477
2006 396 400 363 532 467 469
2007 399 406 372 527 487 464
2008 395 399 376 524 469 493
2009 396 410 372 528 475 492
2010 394 415 375 503 481 457
2011 394 394 377 377 447 450

Note: Full-time workers usually work at least 35 hours per week. Data are adjusted to constant 2011 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 (2011 Dollars): 1980-2011

(In 2011 $)

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 (2011 Dollars): 1980-2011

Note: Full-time workers work at least 35 hours per week. Data are adjusted to constant 2011 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 2011 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 other skills based on work experience, training or other credentials into account.
  • In 2011, White women with four years of high school education and no college who were working full-time had median weekly earnings of $572 compared to $493 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 $745 compared to $598 for Black men and $606 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 – 2011 time period, there is a substantial 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 somewhat 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 (2011 Dollars): 1979-2011

  Women Men
White Black Hispanic2 White Black Hispanic2
1979 $537 $502 $508 $907 $725 $800
1980 525 491 502 871 709 756
1981 520 489 501 866 688 757
1982 535 490 512 855 665 745
1983 537 485 513 848 670 723
1984 540 495 524 839 656 718
1985 540 492 506 833 630 696
1986 548 503 507 836 636 689
1987 551 504 498 830 642 678
1988 552 497 510 826 638 674
1989 539 499 506 816 620 651
1990 532 480 509 794 594 647
1991 539 486 499 781 586 635
19921 540 481 771 572
1993 544 474 766 581
1994 542 456 489 767 575 609
1995 535 459 466 766 586 613
1996 535 461 464 769 571 594
1997 542 460 468 787 591 616
1998 557 491 495 802 606 639
1999 557 487 491 807 618 641
2000 564 502 494 794 641 636
2001 577 504 513 795 647 633
2002 588 510 505 799 631 634
2003 592 531 507 797 635 638
2004 591 544 517 798 619 620
2005 581 502 501 780 608 611
2006 569 508 477 785 606 635
2007 567 510 509 779 596 633
2008 559 501 500 771 607 630
2009 583 521 519 776 617 623
2010 576 505 505 759 612 609
2011 572 493 501 745 598 606

Note: Full-time workers work at least 35 hours per week. Data adjusted to constant 2011 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.

View full report

Preview
Download

"rpt_indicators.pdf" (pdf, 2.09Mb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®