ERIC Number: ED419163
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Who Are the "Low-Wage" Workers?
A study attempted to identify low-wage workers in the United States by providing a statistical portrait of all workers who made less than $6.25 per hour in 1993. Data for the analysis were gathered from a cross-section of the Merged Outgoing Rotation Group File--Current Population Survey (CPS) for 1993 and panel data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY). The study found that, in 1993, 19 percent of working men and nearly 29 percent of working women made less than $6.25 per hour. The study also found, however, that low-wage workers are often weakly attached to work and often are not the sole source of support for themselves or their families. More than half of low-wage workers are either working part time, in school, or living with their parents. In addition, most low-wage workers do not have a record of continuous full-time employment over a substantial period of time. Low-wage workers also are less likely to have finished high school and more likely to hold a General Educational Development (GED) certificate rather than a regular high school diploma. They are also are likely to have lower reading, writing, and mathematics skills. The study concluded that the vast majority of low-wage workers are not working 40 hours per week, year after year, in a futile effort to support themselves or their families. Future research should address why so many low-wage adults are weakly attached to full-time work. (Data are reported for males and females and displayed on eight graphs.) (KC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Employment Policies Inst., Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Longitudinal Survey of Youth