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:
This brief,by Jacob Hartog, Sarah Wissel, Annalisa Mastri, and Kelley Borradaile discusses 19 interventions identified by the Employment Strategies for Low-Income
Adults Evidence Review (ESER) that featured workreadiness services as their primary employment or
training strategy.2 This brief describes work-readiness
interventions and their impact on employment and
earnings. It also profiles six promising interventions
and their impacts in more detail.
To read this 2016 brief, click on this link: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/opre/eser_ib_workreadiness_111116_b508.pdf
The Employment Strategies for Low-Income Adults Evidence Review (ESER) is a systematic review of the literature on the impacts of employment and training programs and policies for low-income people. Sponsored by the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) in the Administration for Children and Families, ESER provides practitioners, policymakers, researchers, and the public with a transparent, systematic assessment of the quality of research evidence supporting approaches to improve the employment-related outcomes of low-income adults.
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.
This March, 2018 report by Andrew Elmore and Muzaffar Chishti from the Migration Policy Institute discusses the widespread practice of employer workplace violations in immigrant-dense industries.
“Immigrants, who account for 17 percent of the U.S. labor force, are twice as likely as native-born workers to be employed in an industry where violations of core labor standards are widespread. These wage-and-hour and safety-and-health law violations can often be traced back to the changing nature of the relationship between low-wage workers and the companies that employ them. For example, the practice of misclassifying workers as “independent contractors” rather than employees—and thus removing them from the protection of many workplace laws and enabling companies to sidestep payroll taxes, unemployment insurance contributions, and workers’ compensation requirements—is common in low-wage industries from construction to transportation.”
Click on this link to access the Migration Policy Institute’s report: Strategic Leverage