ERIC Number: ED466624
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Jun
Escaping Poverty for Low-Wage Workers: The Role of Employer Characteristics and Changes.
Holzer, Harry J.; Lane, Julia I.; Vilhuber, Lars
A study analyzed the extent to which escape from or entry into low-wage status among adult workers is associated with changes in employers and their characteristics. The research used a database that consisted of quarterly establishment records of the employment earnings of almost all individuals (11,207,031) who worked in Illinois from the first quarter of 1990 to the third quarter of 1998. Unemployment insurance and administrative records helped provide limited demographic data. The results, based on a 5% random sample of records between 1990 and 1995, show considerable mobility into and out of low-wage status, even for this sample of workers, who did not include student and other young people with low attachment to the workforce. They indicate that job changes are an important part of the process by which workers escape or enter low-wage status, and that changes in employer characteristics help to account for these changes. Matches between personal and company characteristics also contribute importantly to observed earning outcomes. That is, workers with positive personal characteristics and white men are more likely to gain employment with firms that are likely to pay better wages, while workers with less-positive characteristics, minority groups, and women, are more likely to work for employers and in industries with lower wages. (Contains 20 references and 9 tables.) (KC)
Descriptors: Adults, Employer Employee Relationship, Employment Experience, Employment Level, Employment Opportunities, Employment Patterns, Employment Potential, Employment Qualifications, Entry Workers, Individual Characteristics, Labor Market, Labor Turnover, Low Income, Low Income Groups, Occupational Mobility, Organizational Climate, Personnel Data, Salary Wage Differentials, Underemployment, Unemployment, Wages, Working Poor
For the full text of the preliminary version of this paper: http://workforcesecurity.doleta.gov/nrc/pdf/lane1.pdf.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.; National Inst. on Aging (DHHS/NIH), Bethesda, MD.; Employment and Training Administration (DOL), Washington, DC.; Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: Urban Inst., Washington, DC.
Note: This research is a part of the U.S. Census Bureau's Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Program (LEHD), which is affiliated with the Cornell Institute for Social and Economic Research. A preliminary version of this paper was presented at the America's Workforce Network Research Conference (Washington, DC, June 26-27, 2001).