Meet The Low Wage Workforce
“Fifty-three million Americans – 44% of all workers aged 18-64 – have low-wage jobs, according to “Meet The Low Wage Workforce,” a new report from the Brookings Institute. These workers earn median hourly wages of $10.22 and median annual earnings of $17,950. The common thread in the report’s recommendations are “policies and programs to support low-wage workers advance to higher wage and greater financial stability should address both sides of the labor market: the assets and circumstances of workers and the number and nature of available jobs.”
Other articles in the November, 2019 edition:
Examining the percentage of adults who have a postsecondary degree misses other types of postsecondary credentials that could be useful in the labor market, such as postsecondary certificates, occupational licenses and occupational certifications.
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released a new Data Point report today (March 27) entitled Degree and Nondegree Credentials Held by Labor Force Participants. This report examines the rates at which working adults have attained either a postsecondary degree or a postsecondary nondegree credential, including postsecondary certificates, occupational licenses, and occupational certifications. The report uses data from the Adult Training and Education survey, conducted as part of the 2016 National Household Education Survey (NHES) program.
Among the findings:
- Although only 45 percent of working adults have a postsecondary degree, when nondegree credentials are factored in, 58 percent of working adults have some type of postsecondary work credential.
- Among working adults who do not have a postsecondary degree, the most common nondegree credential is an occupational license.
To view the full report, please visit this link to the Data Point handout entitled Degree and Nondegree Credentials Held by Labor Force Participants or cut and paste this URL into an address bar: http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2018057.
Ann Lang, Senior Economist with the Virginia Employment Commission, wrote an article for “Economic Information & Analytics,” which attempted to provide an indication of Virginia’s “gig economy”—a much discussed but hard to define sector of the economy. This analysis is not a comprehensive look at the “gig economy” and is based solely on nonemployer statistics from the Census. Nonemployer statistics are used to gain insight into this sector of the economy, as many gig workers fit the definition of nonemployers. Click on this link to Gig Economy-NonEmployer- Article 2014-15 to read the full text.
Read an excerpt of the article’s summary below:
“Nonemployer businesses run the gamut from old-fashioned family-run corner stores to home-based bloggers,” said William Bostic Jr., the Census Bureau’s associate of for economic programs. “In some cases, the business may be the owner’s primary source of income, such as with real estate agents and physicians, but in other instances, they may operate the business as a side job, such as with babysitting and tutoring.”4
Over the 2010-2015 period, nonemployer establishments in Virginia increased by 66,149 or 13.0 percent, surpassing the national growth of 10.0 percent. While Virginia’s nonemployer firms are growing, they remain smaller in number and economic impact than traditional payroll employment, which increased by almost 200,000, or 5.6 percent. The largest gains in nonemployer establishments over the five year period occurred in transportation and warehousing; other services; professional, scientific, and technical services; and real estate and rental and leasing—all sectors that encompass service activities.
Click on this link to read the full PDF article: Gig Economy-NonEmployer- Article 2014-15
Jobs for the Future provides a link to the final implementation report, which “describes the effect of Accelerating Opportunity (AO) on education and employment outcomes for underprepared adult learners. Designed and led by Jobs for the Future and national partners, AO allowed adults with low basic skills to enroll in integrated career pathways at community and technical colleges.”
New Evidence on Integrated Career Pathways: Final Impact Report for Accelerating Opportunity, Theresa Anderson, Daniel Kuehn, Lauren Eyster, Burt S. Barnow, and Roberth Il Lerman, Urban Institute, 2017.
According to 2015 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), earnings increase and unemployment decreases as educational attainment rises. Click here to enter the site.
Grouping workers by education level, the chart shows that those with more education have higher earnings and lower rates of unemployment than those with less education.
These data are from the BLS Current Population Survey, a monthly survey of households that collects information about demographic and labor force characteristics.
Middle Skilled Jobs and Low Skilled, Low Literate, Entry Level Workers in the U.S.
• Middle skilled jobs require more than a high school education but less than a bachelor’s degree (e.g., associate degree, postsecondary certificate, apprenticeship, etc.)
• Comprise about half of all U.S. jobs. Historically, these jobs were available to those with a high school diploma (sometimes less), but changes in production and increasingly sophisticated technology now require more education and preparation for this growing group of jobs than ever before.
Additional education and training beyond high school is now the norm for access to middle skills positions.
– The Future of the U.S. Workforce: Middle Skills Jobs and the Growing Importance of Postsecondary Education, Achieve, Inc., September 2012
The Skills Gap: Living wage work is available in all regions of Virginia, but not enough literate or trained workers are able to fill middle skilled job positions.
More than 175,000 middle skill job openings occurred in Virginia last year. Each job, on average, took 26 days to dill. That nearly month-long gap stripped businesses of more than 36 million hours of productivity; families of more than $1 billion in wages; and Virginia’s General Fund of an estimated $54 million in state income taxes.”
The Interest Gap: Too few people pursue these middle class careers because of outdated societal stigmas or they are unaware of them, how well they pay, the advancement opportunities they offer, or even how to secure the credentials necessary to pursue them.
The Affordability Gap: Financial aid is largely not available to Virginians pursuing short-term workforce training programs, despite evidence that they typically need it the most.
– Workforce Credentials: The Pathway to Virginia’s New Middle Class: Virginia’s Community Colleges, September 1, 2015
It is time to throw down the gauntlet for PD. A serious conversation and commitment to Adult Education professional development is long overdue. We should be talking more extensively and with higher-level commitment about the conditions we need to create for work and learning in our field, for the good of adult learners and our nation. All the more so as we work together to prepare for a full and robust implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act…
Judging Adult Education Teacher Performance. Very little national data is available by which to judge current teacher performance in Adult Education, but the data that is available shows enormous variation between and within states and local grantees on key performance indicators. Depending on which state or local program they enter, adult learners face very different prospects for success. The likelihood that an adult learner will achieve a positive outcome in a given year can be three to four times higher in some states than in others, almost certainly due at least in part to differences in teaching effectiveness…
Many difficult questions face us at this juncture. For example, how can we take our efforts to scale? What service delivery training models should we choose? Can we craft activities that are both efficient and effective? The New Teacher Project found that systemic district efforts did not significantly contribute to improvements in practice. Are more personalized models needed for adult education? Are current job-embedded models providing the needed level of personalized support for educator growth?
Read the rest of the article at this link.