Today's Labor Force

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TODAY'S LABOR FORCE

The American labor force grew rapidly from 1970 to 2007. This period saw the entry of the postWorld War II baby-boom generation into the labor force, an increase in the percentage of women working outside the home, and the addition to the labor force of workers gained through immigration. Statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that the number of workers in the American civilian noninstitutionalized labor force (workers not in the army, school, jail, or mental health facilities) almost doubled from 82.8 million men and women in 1970 to 153.1 million men and women in 2007. (See Table 1.1.) These statistics include those who are working part or full time and those who are unemployed but actively looking for jobs. Although the number of workers rose by 85%, the proportion of the civilian noninstitutional population in the labor force rose less. In 1970, 60.4% of the civilian noninstitutional population was in the labor force; by 2007, 66% of the civilian noninstitutional population was in the labor force.

GENDER, AGE, RACE, AND ETHNIC ORIGIN

Gender

In 2007 nearly three-quarters of the male population (73.2%) and three-fifths of the female population (59.3%) aged sixteen years and older participated in the labor force. (See Table 1.2.) The number of men increased from 54.6 million in 1973 to 82.1 million in 2007, a 50.4% increase. Among women in the civilian labor force, however, the increase was more dramatic. In 1973, 34.8 million women were employed or seeking employment, compared with 71 million in 2007, a 104% increase. These numbers reveal a shift in the proportions of women and men in the labor force: 78.8% of men were counted among the civilian labor force in 1973, compared with 73.2% by 2007. At the same time, the percentage of women participating in the labor force increased from 44.7% in 1973 to 59.3% in 2007. In 1973 only 34.8 million of 89.4 million people in the labor force, or 38.9%, were women. By 2007, 46.4% of the labor force was female.

Race and Ethnicity

In 2007 Hispanics had the highest labor force participation rate of all races or ethnicities. In that year, 21.6 million Hispanics were in the labor force, for a labor force participation rate of 68.8%. (See Table 1.3.) Asians had the next highest labor force participation rate in 2007; 7.1 million Asians were in the labor force in that year, for a labor force participation rate of 66.5%. (See Table 1.4.) Whites had a very slightly lower labor force participation rate. In 2007, 124.9 million whites were in the labor force, for a labor force participation rate of 66.4%. African-Americans had the lowest labor force participation rate. In 2007, 17.5 million African-Americans were in the labor force, for a labor force participation rate of 63.7%.

African-American women over twenty years of age (64%) were somewhat more likely to be in the labor force than white women (60.1%), Asian women (60.7%), or Hispanic women (58.8%) of the same age. (See Table 1.4 and Table 1.3.) A somewhat higher percentage of white men twenty years and older (76.3%) were in the labor force compared with African-American men (71.2%). Asian-American men and Hispanic men twenty years of age and over participated in the labor force at the highest rates in 2007 (78.5% and 84.7%, respectively).

While Hispanic men had the highest labor participation rates of any group in 2007, that rate varied by country of origin. Hispanic men age twenty and over from Mexico had the highest labor force participation rate, at 86.4%. (See Table 1.3.) Cuban men and Puerto Rican men also had high labor force participation rates, at 74.2% and 73.2%, respectively, but not as high as Mexican men.

TABLE 1.1
Employment status of the civilian noninstitutional population, selected years, 19502007

[Numbers in thousands]
Civilian labor force
Employed Unemployed
Year Civilian noninstitutional population Total Percent of population Total Percent of population Agriculture Nonagricultural industries Number Percent of labor force Not in labor force
*Not strictly comparable with data for prior years.
SOURCE: Adapted from 1. Employment Status of the Civilian Noninstitutional Population, 1942 to Date, in Employment and Earnings, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 2008, http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat1.pdf (accessed February 2, 2008)
Persons 16 years of age and over
1950 104,995 62,208 59.2 58,918 56.1 7,160 51,758 3,288 5.3 42,787
1955 109,683 65,023 59.3 62,170 56.7 6,450 55,722 2,852 4.4 44,660
1960* 117,245 69,628 59.4 65,778 56.1 5,458 60,318 3,852 5.5 47,617
1965 126,513 74,455 58.9 71,088 56.2 4,361 66,726 3,366 4.5 52,058
1970 137,085 82,771 60.4 78,678 57.4 3,463 75,215 4,093 4.9 54,315
1975 153,153 93,774 61.2 85,846 56.1 3,408 82,438 7,929 8.5 59,377
1980 167,745 106,940 63.8 99,302 59.2 3,364 95,938 7,637 7.1 60,806
1985 178,206 115,461 64.8 107,150 60.1 3,179 103,971 8,312 7.2 62,744
1990* 189,164 125,840 66.5 118,793 62.8 3,223 115,570 7,047 5.6 63,324
1995 198,584 132,304 66.6 124,900 62.9 3,440 121,460 7,404 5.6 66,280
2000* 212,577 142,583 67.1 136,891 64.4 2,464 134,427 5,692 4.0 69,994
2005* 226,082 149,320 66.0 141,730 62.7 2,197 139,532 7,591 5.1 76,762
2006* 228,815 151,428 66.2 144,427 63.1 2,206 142,221 7,001 4.6 77,387
2007* 231,867 153,124 66.0 146,047 63.0 2,095 143,952 7,078 4.6 78,743
TABLE 1.2
Employment status of the population 16 years and over, by sex, selected years, 19732007

[Numbers in thousands]
Civilian labor force
Employed Unemployed
Year Civilian noninstitutional population Total Percent of population Total Percent of population Agriculture Nonagricultural industries Number Percent of labor force Not in labor force
*Not strictly comparable with data for prior years.
SOURCE: Adapted from 2. Employment Status of the Civilian Noninstitutional Population 16 Years and over by Sex, 1973 to Date, in Employment and Earnings, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 2008, http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat2.pdf (accessed February 2, 2008)
Men
1973* 69,292 54,624 78.8 52,349 75.5 2,847 49,502 2,275 4.2 14,667
1975 72,291 56,299 77.9 51,857 71.7 2,824 49,032 4,442 7.9 15,993
1980 79,398 61,453 77.4 57,186 72.0 2,709 54,477 4,267 6.9 17,945
1985 84,469 64,411 76.3 59,891 70.9 2,535 57,356 4,521 7.0 20,058
1990* 90,377 69,011 76.4 65,104 72.0 2,546 62,559 3,906 5.7 21,367
1995 95,178 71,360 75.0 67,377 70.8 2,559 64,818 3,983 5.6 23,818
2000* 101,964 76,280 74.8 73,305 71.9 1,861 71,444 2,975 3.9 25,684
2005* 109,151 80,033 73.3 75,973 69.6 1,654 74,319 4,059 5.1 29,119
2006* 110,605 81,255 73.5 77,502 70.1 1,663 75,838 3,753 4.6 29,350
2007* 112,173 82,136 73.2 78,254 69.8 1,604 76,650 3,882 4.7 30,036
Women
1973* 77,804 34,804 44.7 32,715 42.0 622 32,093 2,089 6.0 43,000
1975 80,860 37,475 46.3 33,989 42.0 584 33,404 3,486 9.3 43,386
1980 88,348 45,487 51.5 42,117 47.7 656 41,461 3,370 7.4 42,861
1985 93,736 51,050 54.5 47,259 50.4 644 46,615 3,791 7.4 42,686
1990* 98,787 56,829 57.5 53,689 54.3 678 53,011 3,140 5.5 41,957
1995 103,406 60,944 58.9 57,523 55.6 881 56,642 3,421 5.6 42,462
2000* 110,613 66,303 59.9 63,586 57.5 602 62,983 2,717 4.1 44,310
2005* 116,931 69,288 59.3 65,757 56.2 544 65,213 3,531 5.1 47,643
2006* 118,210 70,173 59.4 66,925 56.6 543 66,382 3,247 4.6 48,037
2007* 119,694 70,988 59.3 67,792 56.6 490 67,302 3,196 4.5 48,707
TABLE 1.3
Employment status of the Hispanic population, by sex, age, and detailed ethnic group, 200607

[Numbers in thousands]
Hispanic or Latino ethnicity
Totala Mexican origin Puerto Rican origin Cuban origin
Employment status, sex, and age 2006 2007 2006 2007 2006 2007 2006 2007
a Includes persons of Central or South American origin and of other Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, not shown separately.
b Data not shown where base is less than 35,000.
Note: Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.
SOURCE: 6. Employment Status of the Hispanic or Latino Population by Sex, Age, and Detailed Ethnic Group, in Employment and Earnings, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 2008, http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat6.pdf (accessed February 2, 2008)
Total
Civilian noninstitutional population 30,103 31,383 19,036 19,770 2,600 2,711 1,326 1,421
Civilian labor force 20,694 21,602 13,158 13,672 1,599 1,684 807 898
Percent of population 68.7 68.8 69.1 69.2 61.5 62.1 60.9 63.2
Employed 19,613 20,382 12,477 12,908 1,484 1,551 778 862
Unemployed 1,081 1,220 681 764 115 133 29 36
Unemployment rate 5.2 5.6 5.2 5.6 7.2 7.9 3.6 4.0
Not in labor force 9,409 9,781 5,877 6,098 1,001 1,027 519 523
Men, 16 years and over
Civilian noninstitutional population 15,473 16,154 10,037 10,415 1,208 1,252 646 712
Civilian labor force 12,488 13,005 8,251 8,553 842 865 468 511
Percent of population 80.7 80.5 82.2 82.1 69.7 69.1 72.4 71.7
Employed 11,887 12,310 7,863 8,122 782 791 452 490
Unemployed 601 695 388 431 60 74 16 21
Unemployment rate 4.8 5.3 4.7 5.0 7.2 8.5 3.3 4.1
Not in labor force 2,985 3,149 1,787 1,862 366 387 178 201
Men, 20 years and over
Civilian noninstitutional population 14,046 14,649 9,086 9,420 1,081 1,119 612 670
Civilian labor force 11,888 12,403 7,833 8,134 797 819 458 497
Percent of population 84.6 84.7 86.2 86.4 73.7 73.2 74.8 74.1
Employed 11,391 11,827 7,515 7,779 749 761 445 478
Unemployed 497 576 318 356 48 58 13 18
Unemployment rate 4.2 4.6 4.1 4.4 6.1 7.1 2.9 3.7
Not in labor force 2,157 2,246 1,253 1,285 284 300 154 173
Women, 16 years and over
Civilian noninstitutional population 14,630 15,229 8,998 9,355 1,392 1,459 680 709
Civilian labor force 8,206 8,597 4,907 5,119 757 819 339 387
Percent of population 56.1 56.5 54.5 54.7 54.4 56.1 49.9 54.6
Employed 7,725 8,072 4,614 4,786 702 760 326 372
Unemployed 480 525 294 333 55 60 13 15
Unemployment rate 5.9 6.1 6.0 6.5 7.2 7.3 3.9 3.9
Not in labor force 6,424 6,632 4,091 4,236 635 640 340 322
Women, 20 years and over
Civilian noninstitutional population 13,262 13,791 8,097 8,384 1,267 1,325 634 671
Civilian labor force 7,735 8,108 4,596 4,784 714 770 327 380
Percent of population 58.3 58.8 56.8 57.1 56.4 58.1 51.6 56.6
Employed 7,321 7,662 4,351 4,508 666 720 315 366
Unemployed 414 446 246 276 48 50 12 14
Unemployment rate 5.3 5.5 5.3 5.8 6.8 6.5 3.7 3.7
Not in labor force 5,527 5,682 3,501 3,600 553 555 307 291
Both sexes, 16 to 19 years
Civilian noninstitutional population 2,796 2,944 1,853 1,967 252 267 79 80
Civilian labor force 1,071 1,091 729 753 88 95 21 21
Percent of population 38.3 37.1 39.3 38.3 34.9 35.5 26.7 26.6
Employed 900 894 611 621 70 69 18 18
Unemployed 170 197 118 132 18 25 3 4
Unemployment rate 15.9 18.1 16.2 17.6 20.9 26.8 b b
Not in labor force 1,725 1,853 1,124 1,213 164 172 58 59

Age

The BLS reported in Employment and Earnings (January 2008, http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsa2007.pdf) that Americans between the ages of twenty-five and fifty-four were the most likely age group to be working or looking for work in 2007, with 90.9% of men and 75.4% of women in that age group counted among the labor force. As people aged, their labor force participation rates dropped. Among fifty-five-to sixty-four-year-olds, only 69.6% of men and 58.3% of women were in the labor force. Among those age sixty-five and older, only 20.5% of men and 12.6% of women continued to participate in the labor force.

TABLE 1.4
Employment status of the population, by sex, age, and race, 200607

[Numbers in thousands]
Total White Black or African American Asian
Employment status, sex, and age 2006 2007 2006 2007 2006 2007 2006 2007
Note: Estimates for the above race groups will not sum to totals because data are not presented for all races. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.
SOURCE: 5. Employment Status of the Civilian Noninstitutional Population by Sex, Age, and Race, in Employment and Earnings, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 2008, http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat5.pdf (accessed February 2, 2008)
Total
Civilian noninstitutional population 228,815 231,867 186,264 188,253 27,007 27,485 10,155 10,633
Civilian labor force 151,428 153,124 123,834 124,935 17,314 17,496 6,727 7,067
Percent of population 66.2 66.0 66.5 66.4 64.1 63.7 66.2 66.5
Employed 144,427 146,047 118,833 119,792 15,765 16,051 6,522 6,839
Unemployed 7,001 7,078 5,002 5,143 1,549 1,445 205 229
Unemployment rate 4.6 4.6 4.0 4.1 8.9 8.3 3.0 3.2
Not in labor force 77,387 78,743 62,429 63,319 9,693 9,989 3,427 3,566
Men, 16 years and over
Civilian noninstitutional population 110,605 112,173 91,021 92,073 12,130 12,361 4,827 5,052
Civilian labor force 81,255 82,136 67,613 68,158 8,128 8,252 3,621 3,796
Percent of population 73.5 73.2 74.3 74.0 67.0 66.8 75.0 75.1
Employed 77,502 78,254 64,883 65,289 7,354 7,500 3,511 3,677
Unemployed 3,753 3,882 2,730 2,869 774 752 110 119
Unemployment rate 4.6 4.7 4.0 4.2 9.5 9.1 3.0 3.1
Not in labor force 29,350 30,036 23,408 23,915 4,002 4,110 1,206 1,256
Men, 20 years and over
Civilian noninstitutional population 102,145 103,555 84,466 85,420 10,864 11,057 4,515 4,737
Civilian labor force 77,562 78,596 64,540 65,214 7,720 7,867 3,535 3,718
Percent of population 75.9 75.9 76.4 76.3 71.1 71.2 78.3 78.5
Employed 74,431 75,337 62,259 62,806 7,079 7,245 3,437 3,608
Unemployed 3,131 3,259 2,281 2,408 640 622 98 110
Unemployment rate 4.0 4.1 3.5 3.7 8.3 7.9 2.8 3.0
Not in labor force 24,584 24,959 19,927 20,206 3,144 3,189 980 1,019
Women, 16 years and over
Civilian noninstitutional population 118,210 119,694 95,242 96,180 14,877 15,124 5,328 5,581
Civilian labor force 70,173 70,988 56,221 56,777 9,186 9,244 3,106 3,271
Percent of population 59.4 59.3 59.0 59.0 61.7 61.1 58.3 58.6
Employed 66,925 67,792 53,950 54,503 8,410 8,551 3,011 3,162
Unemployed 3,247 3,196 2,271 2,274 775 693 95 110
Unemployment rate 4.6 4.5 4.0 4.0 8.4 7.5 3.1
Not in labor force 48,037 48,707 39,021 39,403 5,691 5,879 2,222 2,310
Women, 20 years and over
Civilian noninstitutional population 109,992 111,330 88,942 89,790 13,578 13,788 5,027 5,265
Civilian labor force 66,585 67,516 53,286 53,925 8,723 8,828 3,038 3,194
Percent of population 60.5 60.6 59.9 60.1 64.2 64.0 60.4 60.7
Employed 63,834 64,799 51,359 51,996 8,068 8,240 2,953 3,096
Unemployed 2,751 2,718 1,927 1,930 656 588 85 99
Unemployment rate 4.1 4.0 3.6 3.6 7.5 6.7 2.8 3.1
Not in labor force 43,407 43,814 35,656 35,864 4,854 4,960 1,989 2,071
Both sexes, 16 to 19 years
Civilian noninstitutional population 16,678 16,982 12,856 13,043 2,565 2,640 613 631
Civilian labor force 7,281 7,012 6,009 5,795 871 801 154 155
Percent of population 43.7 41.3 46.7 44.4 34.0 30.3 25.1 24.5
Employed 6,162 5,911 5,215 4,990 618 566 132 135
Unemployed 1,119 1,101 794 805 253 235 22 20
Unemployment rate 15.4 15.7 13.2 13.9 29.1 29.4 14.0 12.7
Not in labor force 9,397 9,970 6,847 7,248 1,694 1,839 459 476

According to the BLS in Employment and Earnings, unemployment in 2007 was highest among the youngest workers, with those aged sixteen to nineteen experiencing an unemployment rate of 15.7%. The low unemployment rate among those aged fifty-five to sixty-four in 2007 (3.1%), compared with the national average of 4.6% for all workers aged sixteen and over, likely indicates that many of the older workers who had lost their jobs had retired and were no longer in the labor force. Historically, the exit of older workers from the workforce is the result of various reasons, ranging from disability to a genuine desire to retire. For some people, however, leaving the workforce is not a voluntary act. Elimination of middle management positions and other cost-cutting efforts can disproportionately affect older workers, who generally earn more than younger workers with less experience.

TABLE 1.5
Labor force status of persons aged 16 to 24 years old by school enrollment, educational attainment, sex, race, and Hispanic ethnicity, October 2006

[Numbers in thousands]
Civilian labor force
Employed Unemployed
Characteristic Civilian noninstitutional population Total Percent of population Total Percent of population Number Rate Not in labor force
a Includes a small number of persons enrolled in grades below high school.
b Data not shown where base is less than 75,000.
c Includes persons with a high school diploma or equivalent.
d Includes persons with a bachelor's, master's, professional, and doctoral degrees.
Note: Detail for the above race groups (white, black or African American, and Asian) do not sum to totals because data are not presented for all races. 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. Because of rounding, sums of individual items may not equal totals. Data reflect revised population controls for the Current Population Survey introduced in January 2006.
SOURCE: Table 2. Labor Force Status of Persons 16 to 24 Years Old by School Enrollment, Educational Attainment, Sex, Race, and Hispanic or Latino Ethnicity, October 2006, in College Enrollment and Work Activity of 2006 High School Graduates, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, April 26, 2007, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/hsgec.pdf (accessed February 2, 2008)
Total, 16 to 24 years 37,047 22,300 60.2 20,016 54.0 2,285 10.2 14,746
Enrolled in school 20,797 9,001 43.3 8,204 39.4 797 8.9 11,796
Enrolled in high schoola 10,315 3,235 31.4 2,767 26.8 468 14.5 7,080
Men 5,283 1,587 30.0 1,343 25.4 244 15.4 3,696
Women 5,032 1,648 32.7 1,424 28.3 224 13.6 3,384
White 7,807 2,639 33.8 2,318 29.7 321 12.2 5,168
Black or African American 1,724 419 24.3 321 18.6 99 23.5 1,305
Asian 341 55 16.1 48 14.0 7 b 286
Hispanic or Latino ethnicity 1,720 342 19.9 276 16.1 66 19.3 1,377
Enrolled in college 10,482 5,766 55.0 5,437 51.9 329 5.7 4,716
Enrolled in 2-year college 2,705 1,753 64.8 1,636 60.5 117 6.7 952
Enrolled in 4-year college 7,777 4,013 51.6 3,801 48.9 212 5.3 3,764
Full-time students 8,869 4,382 49.4 4,129 46.6 253 5.8 4,487
Part-time students 1,613 1,384 85.8 1,308 81.1 75 5.4 230
Men 4,859 2,586 53.2 2,424 49.9 163 6.3 2,273
Women 5,623 3,179 56.5 3,013 53.6 166 5.2 2,444
White 8,190 4,650 56.8 4,405 53.8 245 5.3 3,540
Black or African American 1,303 635 48.7 564 43.2 71 11.2 669
Asian 670 282 42.1 279 41.7 3 0.9 388
Hispanic or Latino ethnicity 1,198 717 59.8 678 56.6 39 5.4 481
Not enrolled in school 16,250 13,299 81.8 11,811 72.7 1,488 11.2 2,950
16 to 19 years 3,074 2,238 72.8 1,798 58.5 440 19.6 836
20 to 24 years 13,176 11,061 84.0 10,013 76.0 1,048 9.5 2,114
Men 8,564 7,530 87.9 6,692 78.1 838 11.1 1,034
Less than a high school diploma 1,925 1,528 79.4 1,335 69.4 193 12.6 397
High school graduates, no collegec 4,008 3,531 88.1 3,079 76.8 452 12.8 477
Some college or associate degree 1,674 1,567 93.7 1,444 86.3 124 7.9 106
Bachelor's degree and higherd 958 903 94.3 834 87.1 69 7.6 55
Women 7,686 5,769 75.1 5,119 66.6 650 11.3 1,916
Less than a high school diploma 1,506 796 52.9 590 39.2 206 25.9 709
High school graduates, no collegec 3,147 2,295 72.9 2,008 63.8 287 12.5 852
Some college or associate degree 1,903 1,626 85.5 1,522 80.0 105 6.4 276
Bachelor's degree and higherd 1,130 1,052 93.0 999 88.4 53 5.0 79
White 12,769 10,636 83.3 9,643 75.5 993 9.3 2,133
Black or African American 2,418 1,866 77.2 1,447 59.9 418 22.4 552
Asian 455 340 74.6 316 69.4 23 6.9 116
Hispanic or Latino ethnicity 3,518 2,742 77.9 2,506 71.2 236 8.6 776

STUDENT WORKERS. In 2006 approximately 43.3% of American students ages sixteen to twenty-four were employed while enrolled in school. (See Table 1.5.) College students had a higher labor force participation rate than did high school students (55% and 31.4%, respectively). Non-Hispanic white students were more likely than any other group to work while enrolled in high school, while Hispanic students were more likely to work than any other group while enrolled in college.

EDUCATION

As educational attainment increases, so does the likelihood that a person will be part of the labor force. The unemployment rate also is lower for more educated individuals. Among people age twenty-five and over in 2007, those with a bachelor's degree or higher had the highest labor force participation (77.8%) and the lowest unemployment rate (2%). (See Table 1.6.) On the other hand, those with less than a high school diploma had a labor

TABLE 1.6
Employment status of the population aged 25 years and over, by educational attainment, sex, race and Hispanic ethnicity, 200607

[Numbers in thousands]
Some college or associate degree
Less than a high school diploma High school graduates, no collegea Total Some college, no degree Associate degree Bachelor's degree and higherb
Employment status, sex, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity 2006 2007 2006 2007 2006 2007 2006 2007 2006 2007 2006 2007
Total
Civilian noninstitutional population 27,541 26,633 60,748 61,373 49,011 49,831 32,069 32,853 16,942 16,978 54,571 56,620
Civilian labor force 12,758 12,408 38,354 38,539 35,410 35,887 22,504 22,958 12,906 12,928 42,512 44,074
Percent of population 46.3 46.6 63.1 62.8 72.2 72.0 70.2 69.9 76.2 76.1 77.9 77.8
Employed 11,892 11,521 36,702 36,857 34,143 34,612 21,630 22,076 12,514 12,535 41,649 43,182
Employment-population ratio 43.2 43.3 60.4 60.1 69.7 69.5 67.4 67.2 73.9 73.8 76.3 76.3
Unemployed 866 886 1,652 1,682 1,267 1,275 874 882 393 393 863 892
Unemployment rate 6.8 7.1 4.3 4.4 3.6 3.6 3.9 3.8 3.0 3.0 2.0 2.0
Men
Civilian noninstitutional population 13,565 13,249 28,995 29,232 22,137 22,690 14,879 15,337 7,258 7,353 27,258 28,094
Civilian labor force 8,112 7,974 21,260 21,385 17,520 17,853 11,507 11,810 6,013 6,043 22,554 23,289
Percent of population 59.8 60.2 73.3 73.2 79.1 78.7 77.3 77.0 82.8 82.2 82.7 82.9
Employed 7,614 7,450 20,345 20,434 16,945 17,243 11,110 11,382 5,835 5,862 22,114 22,835
Employment-population ratio 56.1 56.2 70.2 69.9 76.5 76.0 74.7 74.2 80.4 79.7 81.1 81.3
Unemployed 498 523 914 951 575 610 397 429 177 181 440 454
Unemployment rate 6.1 6.6 4.3 4.4 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.0 3.0 1.9 1.9
Women
Civilian noninstitutional population 13,976 13,385 31,754 32,141 26,874 27,141 17,189 17,516 9,684 9,625 27,314 28,527
Civilian labor force 4,646 4,434 17,094 17,154 17,890 18,034 10,996 11,148 6,893 6,886 19,958 20,784
Percent of population 33.2 33.1 53.8 53.4 66.6 66.4 64.0 63.6 71.2 71.5 73.1 72.9
Employed 4,278 4,071 16,357 16,423 17,198 17,368 10,520 10,695 6,678 6,674 19,535 20,346
Employment-population ratio 30.6 30.4 51.5 51.1 64.0 64.0 61.2 61.1 69.0 69.3 71.5 71.3
Unemployed 368 363 737 731 692 666 477 454 215 212 423 438
Unemployment rate 7.9 8.2 4.3 4.3 3.9 3.7 4.3 4.1 3.1 3.1 2.1 2.1
White
Civilian noninstitutional population 21,781 21,102 50,171 50,340 40,396 41,007 26,281 26,927 14,115 14,080 45,213 46,815
Civilian labor force 10,331 10,106 31,351 31,354 28,973 29,287 18,254 18,578 10,719 10,709 35,043 36,215
Percent of population 47.4 47.9 62.5 62.3 71.7 71.4 69.5 69.0 75.9 76.1 77.5 77.4
Employed 9,720 9,446 30,188 30,140 28,056 28,355 17,632 17,936 10,424 10,419 34,357 35,535
Employment-population ratio 44.6 44.8 60.2 59.9 69.5 69.1 67.1 66.6 73.9 74.0 76.0 75.9
Unemployed 611 660 1,162 1,214 917 932 622 642 295 290 686 681
Unemployment rate 5.9 6.5 3.7 3.9 3.2 3.2 3.4 3.5 2.8 2.7 2.0 1.9
Black or African American
Civilian noninstitutional population 3,975 3,761 7,638 7,884 5,889 6,041 4,075 4,160 1,814 1,881 4,089 4,268
Civilian labor force 1,593 1,470 5,105 5,158 4,428 4,552 3,015 3,093 1,413 1,459 3,356 3,540
Percent of population 40.1 39.1 66.8 65.4 75.2 75.3 74.0 74.4 77.9 77.6 82.1 83.0
Employed 1,389 1,293 4,697 4,783 4,154 4,300 2,816 2,912 1,338 1,389 3,263 3,435
Employment-population ratio 34.9 34.4 61.5 60.7 70.5 71.2 69.1 70.0 73.7 73.8 79.8 80.5
Unemployed 204 177 408 375 274 252 199 181 75 70 93 106
Unemployment rate 12.8 12.0 8.0 7.3 6.2 5.5 6.6 5.9 5.3 4.8 2.8 3.0
Asian
Civilian noninstitutional population 1,026 999 1,718 1,858 1,439 1,502 847 893 592 609 4,496 4,750
Civilian labor force 455 437 1,079 1,174 1,045 1,088 595 647 450 441 3,486 3,679
Percent of population 44.4 43.8 62.8 63.2 72.6 72.5 70.2 72.5 76.0 72.5 77.5 77.5
Employed 438 425 1,046 1,136 1,012 1,048 573 624 439 423 3,414 3,592
Employment-population ratio 42.7 42.5 60.9 61.1 70.3 69.8 67.7 69.9 74.2 69.5 75.9 75.6
Unemployed 17 13 33 38 32 41 22 23 11 18 72 88
Unemployment rate 3.8 2.9 3.1 3.2 3.1 3.7 3.7 3.5 2.4 4.0 2.1 2.4

force participation rate of only 46.6% and an unemployment rate of 7.1%.

The relationship between education and labor force participation held true for men as well as for women. Men age twenty-five and older with a four-year college degree had a labor force participation rate of 82.9%; men with less than a high school diploma had only a 60.2% participation rate. (See Table 1.6.) College-educated women had a labor force participation rate of 72.9%, while women with less than a high school diploma participated in the labor force at a rate of only 33.1%.

TABLE 1.6
Employment status of the population aged 25 years and over, by educational attainment, sex, race and Hispanic ethnicity, 200607

[Numbers in thousands]
Some college or associate degree
Less than a high school diploma High school graduates, no collegea Total Some college, no degree Associate degree Bachelor's degree and higherb
Employment status, sex, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity 2006 2007 2006 2007 2006 2007 2006 2007 2006 2007 2006 2007
a Includes persons with a high school diploma or equivalent.
b Includes persons with bachelor's, master's, professional, and doctoral degrees.
Note: Estimates for the above race groups (white, black or African American, and Asian) do not sum to totals because data are not presented for all races. Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.
SOURCE: 7. Employment Status of the Civilian Noninstitutional Population 25 Years and over by Educational Attainment, Sex, Race, and Hispanic or Latino Ethnicity, in Employment and Earnings, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 2008, http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat7.pdf (accessed February 2, 2008)
Hispanic or Latino ethnicity
Civilian noninstitutional population 9,519 9,643 6,738 7,191 4,396 4,665 2,998 3,176 1,398 1,489 3,051 3,292
Civilian labor force 5,948 6,040 5,008 5,344 3,502 3,692 2,374 2,490 1,128 1,201 2,484 2,707
Percent of population 62.5 62.6 74.3 74.3 79.7 79.1 79.2 78.4 80.7 80.7 81.4 82.2
Employed 5,620 5,677 4,801 5,110 3,377 3,542 2,282 2,382 1,095 1,160 2,428 2,644
Employment-population ratio 59.0 58.9 71.3 71.1 76.8 75.9 76.1 75.0 78.3 77.9 79.6 80.3
Unemployed 328 363 207 234 125 150 92 108 33 41 56 63
Unemployment rate 5.5 6.0 4.1 4.4 3.6 4.1 3.9 4.4 2.9 3.5 2.2 2.3

The relationship also held true for all races and ethnic groups. Among all adults age twenty-five and older with a bachelor's degree, African-Americans were the most likely to be counted among the civilian labor force (83%), followed by Hispanics (82.2%), Asians (77.5%), and non-Hispanic whites (77.4%). (See Table 1.6.) African-Americans with a college education were, however, more likely to be unemployed (3%) than Asians (2.4%), Hispanics (2.3%) or non-Hispanic whites (1.9%) with comparable education. This discrepancy hints at the subtle racial discrimination that some African-American and Hispanic people face when trying to find employment.

FAMILIES

According to the BLS in Employment Characteristics of Families in 2006 (May 9, 2007, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/famee.pdf), 82.4% of the nation's seventy-seven million families had at least one person working in 2006. Asian families were the most likely to include an employed member (89.9%), followed by Hispanic (87.2%), white (82.7%), and African-American families (78.1%). These data include families that may have members who are beyond the generally accepted working age.

Employment Characteristics of Families in 2006 also revealed that about 4.9 million American families (about 6.4% of all families) had at least one person who was unemployed in 2006. Overall, 69.6% of families that included an unemployed person also contained at least one working family member. White and Asian families were considerably less likely to have an unemployed person (5.6% and 5.2%, respectively) than were African-American (11.4%) or Hispanic (8%) families.

The BLS further reported that both spouses were employed in about half (51.8%) of the nation's 57.5 million married-couple families in 2006. (See Table 1.7.) That year, there were about 11.4 million married-couple families (19.8%) in which only the husband was employed outside the house, a slight decrease from the 11.6 million such families in 2005. In nearly 3.8 million married-couple families (6.5%), only the wife worked in 2006, approximately the same percentage as the previous year. More than 9.3 million married-couple families (16.2%) included no working members, although many in this group were retirees.

Family structure affected employment of family members. In 2006 the likelihood of having an employed family member was greatest for families maintained by men with no spouse present (84.9%). (See Table 1.7.) Married-couple families were almost as likely to have an employed member (83.8%). Families maintained by women were least likely to have an employed family member (76%).

Whether any family members were unemployed also varied by type of household, with married-couple households being least likely to contain an unemployed member. Of 5.3 million families maintained by men in 2006 (shown in Table 1.7), 516,000 contained an unemployed member (9.7%). (See Table 1.8.) Of 14.2 million families maintained by women, 1.4 million contained an

TABLE 1.7
Families by presence and relationship of employed members and family type, 200506
[Numbers in thousands]
Number Percent distribution
Characteristic 2005 2006 2005 2005
*No spouse present.
Note: Detail may not sum to totals due to rounding. Data for 2006 reflect revised population controls used in the Current Population Survey.
SOURCE: Table 2. Families by Presence and Relationship of Employed Members and Family Type, 200506 Annual Averages, in Employment Characteristics of Families in 2006, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 9, 2007, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/famee.pdf (accessed February 6, 2008)
Married-couple families
Total 57,167 57,509 100.0 100.0
Member(s) employed, total 47,895 48,196 83.8 83.8
Husband only 11,562 11,399 20.2 19.8
Wife only 3,715 3,754 6.5 6.5
Husband and wife 29,330 29,799 51.3 51.8
Other employment combinations 3,288 3,244 5.8 5.6
No member(s) employed 9,272 9,313 16.2 16.2
Families maintained by women*
Total 14,035 14,208 100.0 100.0
Member(s) employed, total 10,609 10,796 75.6 76.0
Householder only 6,052 6,103 43.1 43.0
Householder and other member(s) 2,830 2,955 20.2 20.8
Other member(s), not householder 1,727 1,738 12.3 12.2
No member(s) employed 3,426 3,412 24.4 24.0
Families maintained by men*
Total 5,242 5,300 100.0 100.0
Member(s) employed, total 4,430 4,500 84.5 84.9
Householder only 2,093 2,089 39.9 39.4
Householder and other member(s) 1,639 1,715 31.3 32.4
Other member(s), not householder 698 696 13.3 13.1
No member(s) employed 812 800 15.5 15.1

unemployed member (10.1%). Of 57.5 million marriedcouple families, only three million contained an unemployed member (5.2%).

About eight of ten married-couple families (82.3%) with an unemployed member also contained at least one employed family member in 2006. (See Table 1.8.) In contrast, among families experiencing unemployment in 2006, only 58.3% of families that were headed by a single man also included an employed person. Among households with unemployed members headed by single women, only 47.3% also included an employed person. Families maintained by single people experience greater hardship when unemployment hits.

Families with Children

According to the BLS in Employment Characteristics of Families in 2006, both parents were employed in 62% of married-couple families with children under eighteen years old in 2006. In 30.5% of married-couple families, the father, but not the mother, was employed; in only 4.8% of married-couple families, the mother, but not the father, was employed. The proportion of married-couple families in which the father, but not the mother, was employed was much higher among families with pre-school children (under six years of age) than it was in families whose youngest child was six to seventeen years old (38% and 24.3%, respectively).

The BLS also reports in Employment Characteristics of Families in 2006 that in 2006 higher proportions of single mothers worked than married mothers, while slightly lower proportions of single fathers worked than married fathers. In single-mother families, 72% of mothers worked, compared with 66.8% of mothers in married-couple families. In single-father families, 83.5% of fathers worked, compared with 92.5% of married fathers. In single-mother families, higher proportions of mothers without children under age six worked than did mothers of children with preschool-age children. The age of children had little effect, however, on whether or not single fathers worked.

The unemployment rate of mothers varied by age of children and marital status. In 2006 the unemployment rate of married mothers with children under eighteen years old was 3.1%, compared with an 8.5% rate for unmarried mothers. (Table 1.9.) The unemployment rate for mothers with preschool children (6%) was higher than the rate for mothers whose youngest child was of school age (4.1%).

TABLE 1.8
Unemployment in families by presence and relationship of employed members and family type, 200506

[Numbers in thousands]
Number Percent distribution
Characteristic 2005 2006 2005 2006
*No spouse present.
Note: Detail may not sum to totals due to rounding. Data for 2006 reflect revised population controls used in the Current Population Survey.
SOURCE: Table 3. Unemployment in Families by Presence and Relationship of Employed Members and Family Type, 200506 Annual Averages, in Employment Characteristics of Families in 2006, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 9, 2007, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/famee.pdf (accessed February 6, 2008)
Married-couple families
With unemployed member(s), total 3,243 2,968 100.0 100.0
No member employed 580 526 17.9 17.7
Some member(s) employed 2,664 2,442 82.1 82.3
Husband unemployed 1,190 1,061 36.7 35.7
Wife employed 753 679 23.2 22.9
Wife unemployed 1,004 898 31.0 30.3
Husband employed 873 772 26.9 26.0
Other family member unemployed 1,049 1,010 32.4 34.0
Families maintained by women*
With unemployed member(s), total 1,539 1,429 100.0 100.0
No member employed 797 753 51.8 52.7
Some member(s) employed 743 675 48.2 47.3
Householder unemployed 746 688 48.5 48.2
Other member(s) employed 161 132 10.5 9.3
Other member(s) unemployed 793 740 51.5 51.8
Families maintained by men*
With unemployed member(s), total 536 516 100.0 100.0
No member employed 225 215 42.1 41.7
Some member(s) employed 310 301 57.9 58.3
Householder unemployed 301 284 56.1 55.0
Other member(s) employed 122 118 22.8 22.8
Other member(s) unemployed 235 232 43.9 45.0

In 2006 more than half (56.1%) of all mothers with a child under one year old were in the labor force. (See Table 1.10.) This proportion rose among mothers with children two years of age (64.5%). Most mothers of children under three years old worked in 2006, but unmarried, divorced, separated, and widowed mothers with young children were more likely to be in the labor force (65.7%) than were married mothers with children the same age (58.2%). This most likely occurs because single women had fewer financial resources that would allow them to remain out of the labor force than did married women.

Unmarried mothers of children under three years old also experienced higher rates of unemployment than their married counterparts. The unemployment rate for single mothers of children under three years old in 2006 was 13.6%, compared with 3.5% among mothers who were married and had children under age three. (See Table 1.10.) The unemployment rate among single mothers of children under one year old was 16.7%, compared with just 3.9% for married mothers with children the same age.

EMPLOYMENT BY INDUSTRY

One way to look at employment figures is by industry. All employees who work in each industry sector are counted. Industry sectors include goods-producing industriessuch as natural resources and mining, construction, and manufacturingand service-providing industriessuch as trade, transportation, and utilities (including wholesale and retail trade), information services, financial services, professional and business services, education and health services, leisure and hospitality, other services, and government. People with the same occupation may work in different industries. For example, an accountant may work in a manufacturing plant, be employed in a tax-preparation office, hold a government job, or teach in a university, and therefore be part of the manufacturing industry, the financial services industry, the government, or the education and health services industry. Wages and working conditions are often tied to the industry in which one works.

According to figures released by the BLS in The Employment Situation: February 2008 (March 7, 2008, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf), there were an estimated 138 million Americans working in private, nonfarm industries, including nearly 21.8 million workers in the goods-producing sector, in February 2008. Approximately 13.7 million of those in the goods-producing industry worked in manufacturing. Nearly two-thirds of manufacturing workers (8.7 million; 63.4%) produced durable

TABLE 1.9
Employment status of the population, by sex, marital status, and presence and age of own children under 18 years old, 2006
[Numbers in thousands]
2006
Characteristic Total Men Women
With own children under 18 years
Civilian noninstitutional population 64,680 28,188 36,492
Civilian labor force 52,391 26,530 25,861
Participation rate 81.0 94.1 70.9
Employed 50,388 25,774 24,614
Employment-population ratio 77.9 91.4 67.4
Full-time workersa 43,485 24,884 18,601
Part-time workersb 6,902 890 6,013
Unemployed 2,004 756 1,247
Unemployment rate 3.8 2.9 4.8
Married, spouse present
Civilian noninstitutional population 51,670 25,648 26,022
Civilian labor force 42,136 24,295 17,842
Participation rate 81.5 94.7 68.6
Employed 40,960 23,680 17,280
Employment-population ratio 79.3 92.3 66.4
Full-time workersa 35,500 22,925 12,575
Part-time workersb 5,460 755 4,705
Unemployed 1,176 614 562
Unemployment rate 2.8 2.5 3.1
Other marital statusc
Civilian noninstitutional population 13,010 2,541 10,470
Civilian labor force 10,255 2,236 8,019
Participation rate 78.8 88.0 76.6
Employed 9,427 2,094 7,333
Employment-population ratio 72.5 82.4 70.0
Full-time workersa 7,985 1,960 6,026
Part-time workersb 1,442 134 1,308
Unemployed 827 142 686
Unemployment rate 8.1 6.3 8.5
With own children 6 to 17 years,
none younger
Civilian noninstitutional population 35,912 15,594 20,318
Civilian labor force 30,100 14,515 15,585
Participation rate 83.8 93.1 76.7
Employed 29,076 14,124 14,952
Employment-population ratio 81.0 90.6 73.6
Full-time workersa 25,277 13,648 11,629
Part-time workersb 3,799 476 3,323
Unemployed 1,024 392 632
Unemployment rate 3.4 2.7 4.1
With own children under 6 years
Civilian noninstitutional population 28,768 12,594 16,174
Civilian labor force 22,291 12,015 10,276
Participation rate 77.5 95.4 63.5
Employed 21,311 11,650 9,661
Employment-population ratio 74.1 92.5 59.7
Full-time workersa 18,208 11,236 6,972
Part-time workersb 3,103 414 2,689
Unemployed 980 365 615
Unemployment rate 4.4 3.0 6.0

goods; the rest (8.7 million, or 36.6%) produced nondurable goods.

BLS data also shows that in February 2008 approximately 116.1 million people were employed in service-providing industries, with about 93.7 million of them employed in the private sector. These figures included 15.4 million people who worked in retail trade; 4.5 million people who worked in transportation and warehousing; 556,500 people who worked in utilities; 3 million people who worked in information services; 8.2 million people who worked in

TABLE 1.9
Employment status of the population, by sex, marital status, and presence and age of own children under 18 years old, 2006
[Numbers in thousands]
2006
Characteristic Total Men Women
a Usually work 35 hours or more a week at all jobs.
b Usually work less than 35 hours a week at all jobs.
c Includes never-married, divorced, separated, and widowed persons.
Note: Own children include sons, daughters, step-children, and adopted children. Not included are nieces, nephews, grandchildren, and other related and unrelated children. Detail may not sum to totals due to rounding. Data for 2006 reflect revised population controls used in the Current Population Survey.
SOURCE: Adapted from Table 5. Employment Status of the Population by Sex, Marital Status, and Presence and Age of Own Children under 18, 200506 Annual Averages, in Employment Characteristics of Families in 2006, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 9, 2007, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/famee.pdf (accessed February 6, 2008)
With no own children under 18 years
Civilian noninstitutional population 162,438 80,719 81,718
Civilian labor force 97,427 53,115 44,312
Participation rate 60.0 65.8 54.2
Employed 92,460 50,148 42,312
Employment-population ratio 56.9 62.1 51.8
Full-time workersa 74,638 42,859 31,780
Part-time workersb 17,821 7,289 10,532
Uneamployed 4,967 2,967 2,000
Unemployment rate 5.1 5.6 4.5

the financial sector; 18.1 million people who worked in professional and business services; 18.7 million people in education and health services; 13.7 million people in leisure and hospitality; and 5.5 million people in other services. In addition, 22.4 million people worked for the federal, state, or local government in the public sector.

EMPLOYMENT BY OCCUPATION

On the other hand, workers may be counted by occupational group. For example, whether nurses work in schools, large manufacturing plants, or in doctors' offices, they need the same training and perform similar work, even though they work in different industries. The BLS breaks down occupations into several broad categories. Management, professional, and related occupations include such jobs as teachers, physicians, managers, and lawyers. Service occupations include jobs such as nurse's aides, police and firefighters, cafeteria workers, and hairdressers. Sales and office occupations include jobs such as retail clerks and secretaries. Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations include jobs such as fishermen, foresters, construction workers, and appliance repair people. Production, transportation, and material moving occupations include jobs such as production workers and truck drivers.

A greater proportion of workers were employed in managerial or professional jobs (35.5%) than in service

TABLE 1.10
Employment status of mothers with own children under 3 years old, by age of youngest child and marital status, 2006

[Numbers in thousands]
Civilian labor force
Employed Unemployed
2006 Civilian noninstitutional population Total Percent of population Total Percent of population Full-time workersa Part-time workersb Number Percent of labor force
a Usually work 35 hours or more a week at all jobs.
b Usually work less than 35 hours a week at all jobs.
c Includes never-married, divorced, separated, and widowed persons.
Note: Own children include sons, daughters, step-children, and adopted children. Not included are nieces, nephews, grandchildren, and other related and unrelated children. Detail may not sum to totals due to rounding. Data for 2006 reflect revised population controls used in the Current Population Survey.
SOURCE: Adapted from Table 6. Employment Status of Mothers with Own Children under 3 Years Old by Single Year of Age of Youngest Child and Marital Status, 200506 Annual Averages, in Employment Characteristics of Families in 2006, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 9, 2007, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/famee.pdf (accessed February 6, 2008)
Total mothers
With own children under 3 years old 9,431 5,675 60.2 5,315 56.4 3,751 1,564 360 6.3
2 years 2,864 1,847 64.5 1,746 61.0 1,280 466 101 5.5
1 year 3,318 2,006 60.5 1,883 56.7 1,305 577 123 6.1
Under 1 year 3,248 1,822 56.1 1,686 51.9 1,166 520 136 7.4
Married, spouse present
With own children under 3 years old 6,998 4,076 58.2 3,933 56.2 2,756 1,177 143 3.5
2 years 2,114 1,305 61.7 1,265 59.8 910 354 40 3.1
1 year 2,494 1,456 58.4 1,404 56.3 962 442 52 3.6
Under 1 year 2,390 1,315 55.0 1,264 52.9 883 381 51 3.9
Other marital statusc
With own children under 3 years old 2,433 1,600 65.7 1,382 56.8 996 386 217 13.6
2 years 750 543 72.3 481 64.2 369 112 61 11.3
1 year 824 550 66.7 479 58.1 344 135 71 13.0
Under 1 year 859 507 59.0 422 49.2 283 139 85 16.7

occupations (16.5%), sales and office occupations (24.8%), natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations (10.8%), or production, transportation, and material moving occupations (12.4%). (See Table 1.11.) According to BLS figures, the percent of American workers employed in management and professional occupations as well as service occupations is steadily increasing, while the percent of American workers employed in production occupations is decreasing.

Women and men were highly concentrated in certain occupations. Women were more likely to work in professional and related occupations, service occupations, and office and administrative support occupations than were men. In 2007, 25.1% of women and only 16.9% of men worked in professional and business occupations, 20.4% of women and 13.2% of men worked in service occupations, and 21.6% of women and only 6.2% of men worked in office and administrative support occupations. (See Table 1.11.) On the other hand, men were much more likely than women to work in natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations (19.3% of men and 1% of women) and in production, transportation, and material moving occupations (17.9% of men and 6.2% of women).

According to the BLS, African-Americans and Hispanics were less likely than whites and Asians to work in the fairly high-paid managerial and professional specialties; nearly half of Asians (48.1%) and over a third of whites (36.1%) worked in these occupations, compared with only 27.1% of African-Americans and 17.8% of Hispanics. (See Table 1.11.) On the other hand, African-Americans and Hispanics were disproportionately concentrated in the relatively low-paid service occupations. Only 15.5% of whites and 16% of Asians worked in these occupations, compared with 23.3% of African-Americans and 24.1% of Hispanics. In addition, a disproportionate number of Hispanic workers (19.4%) worked in natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations compared with whites (11.6%), African-Americans (7%), and Asians (4.4%).

The BLS also reported in Employment and Earnings that in 2007 the vast majority of the American workforce were wage or salary earners in nonagricultural industries (134.3 million). Another 9.6 million Americans were self-employed, and 112,000 Americans were unpaid family workers. Only 2.1 million people were employed in agriculture, approximately 58% of them as wage and salary workers and 40.8% of them as self-employed workers. Most people worked full time; 119.7 million people, or 82.9%, did so.

CONTINGENT WORKERS AND ALTERNATIVE WORK ARRANGEMENTS

According to the BLS, even though most formal studies have found no change in workers' overall job tenure, the effects of media reports and personal experience of corporate

TABLE 1.11
Employed persons by occupation, race, Hispanic ethnicity, and sex, 200607

[Percent distribution]
Total Men Women
Occupation, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity 2006 2007 2006 2007 2006 2007
Total
Total, 16 years and over (thousands) 144,427 146,047 77,502 78,254 66,925 67,792
Percent 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Management, professional, and related occupations 34.9 35.5 32.2 32.7 38.1 38.6
Management, business, and financial operations occupations 14.7 14.8 15.9 15.8 13.3 13.6
Professional and related occupations 20.2 20.7 16.2 16.9 24.8 25.1
Service occupations 16.5 16.5 13.1 13.2 20.4 20.4
Sales and office occupations 25.0 24.8 17.1 16.9 34.2 33.8
Sales and related occupations 11.5 11.4 10.9 10.8 12.2 12.2
Office and administrative support occupations 13.5 13.4 6.2 6.2 22.0 21.6
Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations 11.0 10.8 19.5 19.3 1.1 1.0
Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations .7 .7 1.0 1.0 .3 .3
Construction and extraction occupations 6.6 6.5 11.9 11.9 .4 .4
Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations 3.7 3.6 6.6 6.4 .4 .3
Production, transportation, and material moving occupations 12.6 12.4 18.1 17.9 6.2 6.2
Production occupations 6.5 6.4 8.4 8.4 4.3 4.2
Transportation and material moving occupations 6.1 6.0 9.7 9.5 2.0 2.0
White
Total, 16 years and over (thousands) 118,833 119,792 64,883 65,289 53,950 54,503
Percent 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Management, professional, and related occupations 35.5 36.1 32.6 33.2 38.9 39.5
Management, business, and financial operations occupations 15.4 15.5 16.7 16.7 13.8 13.9
Professional and related occupations 20.1 20.6 15.9 16.5 25.2 25.6
Service occupations 15.4 15.5 12.2 12.4 19.3 19.3
Sales and office occupations 25.1 24.8 17.0 16.7 34.8 34.4
Sales and related occupations 11.8 11.6 11.3 11.0 12.4 12.3
Office and administrative support occupations 13.3 13.2 5.7 5.7 22.4 22.1
Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations 11.8 11.6 20.7 20.4 1.1 1.0
Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations .7 .7 1.1 1.1 .3 .3
Construction and extraction occupations 7.1 7.1 12.7 12.7 .5 .4
Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations 3.9 3.8 6.9 6.7 .4 .3
Production, transportation, and material moving occupations 12.2 12.0 17.6 17.3 5.8 5.7
Production occupations 6.4 6.3 8.3 8.4 4.0 3.9
Transportation and material moving occupations 5.9 5.7 9.2 9.0 1.8 1.9
Black or African American
Total, 16 years and over (thousands) 15,765 16,051 7,354 7,500 8,410 8,551
Percent 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Management, professional, and related occupations 27.0 27.1 22.3 22.3 31.1 31.2
Management, business, and financial operations occupations 9.8 10.1 9.7 9.2 10.0 11.0
Professional and related occupations 17.2 16.9 12.6 13.1 21.1 20.3
Service occupations 24.1 23.3 20.4 19.2 27.3 26.8
Sales and office occupations 25.7 26.2 18.1 18.7 32.3 32.7
Sales and related occupations 9.5 10.3 8.0 8.8 10.9 11.7
Office and administrative support occupations 16.2 15.8 10.2 10.0 21.4 21.0
Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations 6.8 7.0 13.5 14.0 1.0 .8
Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations .3 .3 .4 .4 .2 .2
Construction and extraction occupations 4.0 4.0 8.1 8.1 .3 .3
Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations 2.6 2.7 5.0 5.5 .5 .3
Production, transportation, and material moving occupations 16.4 16.5 25.7 25.7 8.3 8.5
Production occupations 7.3 7.4 9.7 9.6 5.2 5.4
Transportation and material moving occupations 9.1 9.2 16.0 16.1 3.1 3.1

downsizing, production streamlining, and the increasing use of temporary workers can cause workers to question employers' commitment to long-term, stable employment relationships. There is also a growing unease that employers, in their attempts to reduce costs, have increased their use of employment intermediaries, such as temporary help services and contract companies, and are relying more on alternative staffing arrangements, such as on-call workers and independent contractors (also called freelancers).

Workers may take employment in a nonstandard arrangement, such as working for a temporary agency, for a number of reasons, including inability to find a permanent job, a desire to work fewer hours when they have a young child at home, or a desire to experience varied jobs and job sectors. In addition, nonstandard work arrangements such as consulting or contracting can provide a more flexible workday and more lucrative remuneration.

Contingent Worker Characteristics

The BLS defines contingent work as any job situation in which an individual does not have an explicit or implicit contract for long-term employment. This includes

TABLE 1.11
Employed persons by occupation, race, Hispanic ethnicity, and sex, 200607
[Percent distribution]
Total Men Women
Occupation, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity 2006 2007 2006 2007 2006 2007
Note: Estimates for the above race groups (white, black or African American, and Asian) do not sum to totals because data are not presented for all races. Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.
SOURCE: 10. Employed Persons by occupation, Race, Hispanic or Latino Ethnicity, and Sex, in Employment and Earnings, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 2008, http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat10.pdf (accessed February 2, 2008)
Asian
Total, 16 years and over (thousands) 6,522 6,839 3,511 3,677 3,011 3,162
Percent 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Management, professional, and related occupations 47.3 48.1 48.7 49.3 45.7 46.8
Management, business, and financial operations occupations 15.8 15.8 16.9 15.8 14.5 15.7
Professional and related occupations 31.6 32.4 31.8 33.5 31.2 31.1
Service occupations 15.8 16.0 13.4 13.5 18.5 18.9
Sales and office occupations 22.4 21.9 18.2 18.4 27.3 26.0
Sales and related occupations 11.8 11.4 11.9 11.5 11.6 11.4
Office and administrative support occupations 10.7 10.5 6.3 6.9 15.7 14.7
Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations 4.4 4.4 7.6 7.4 .7 .9
Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations .2 .2 .3 .2 .2 .3
Construction and extraction occupations 1.7 1.7 3.0 3.1 .3 .1
Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations 2.4 2.4 4.3 4.1 .3 .5
Production, transportation, and material moving occupations 10.1 9.6 12.1 11.4 7.7 7.4
Production occupations 7.0 6.5 7.1 6.7 6.7 6.3
Transportation and material moving occupations 3.1 3.0 4.9 4.7 1.0 1.0
Hispanic or Latino ethnicity
Total, 16 years and over (thousands) 19,613 20,382 11,887 12,310 7,725 8,072
Percent 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Management, professional, and related occupations 17.0 17.8 13.7 14.3 22.1 23.1
Management, business, and financial operations occupations 7.5 7.7 7.1 7.2 8.3 8.6
Professional and related occupations 9.5 10.0 6.6 7.1 13.9 14.5
Service occupations 23.7 24.1 19.2 19.7 30.6 30.7
Sales and office occupations 21.2 21.1 13.7 13.2 32.7 33.1
Sales and related occupations 9.4 9.3 7.3 7.2 12.6 12.4
Office and administrative support occupations 11.8 11.8 6.4 6.0 20.2 20.7
Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations 19.8 19.4 31.3 31.0 2.2 1.8
Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations 1.9 1.9 2.6 2.5 1.0 1.0
Construction and extraction occupations 14.2 14.0 22.9 22.8 .9 .6
Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations 3.7 3.6 5.9 5.7 .3 .2
Production, transportation, and material moving occupations 18.3 17.6 22.1 21.7 12.3 11.3
Production occupations 9.9 9.4 10.4 10.4 9.0 8.0
Transportation and material moving occupations 8.4 8.2 11.7 11.3 3.3 3.3

independent contractors, on-call workers, and those working for temporary help services. In the report Contingent and Alternative Employment Arrangements, February 2005 (July 27, 2005, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/conemp.pdf), the BLS estimated that contingent workers accounted for between 1.8% and 4.1% of total employment in the United States. In February 2005, 22.6%27.2% of all contingent workers in the United States were employed in professional and related occupations. Other high rates of contingency were in the education and health services industries (21.8%27.1%), sales and office occupations (20.6%24.3%), office and administrative support occupations (14.8%19.4%), and service occupations (15.7%17.6).

The BLS also reported in Contingent and Alternative Employment Arrangements that laborers who were between the ages of twenty and thirty-four years were more than twice as likely to be contingent workers as workers who were younger or older. The trend was evident for both male and female contingent workers. Contingent workers were also more likely to be employed full-time than part-time.

Alternative Work Arrangements

Employees in alternative work arrangements are individuals whose place, time, and quantity of work are potentially unpredictable or individuals whose employment is arranged through an employment intermediary. Examples include independent contractors, on-call workers, workers paid by temporary help firms, and workers whose services are provided through contract firms.

Some of the alternative arrangements have been in existence for decades; there is, however, a lack of data analyzing the number of workers in these arrangements. The ranks of independent contractors include construction workers and farmhands, whose working situations did not change much in the twentieth century. Similarly, on-call workers such as substitute teachers, registered nurses, and performance artists did not see much change in the manner of obtaining work. Temporary help agencies, though, can only trace their widespread existence in the United States to shortly after World War II, and there is evidence that providing employees to fulfill the administrative or business needs of other companies is a spreading phenomenon.

According to the BLS in Contingent and Alternative Employment Arrangements, 14.8 million people, or 10.7% of the total workforce of 139 million, could be categorized in four alternative arrangement categories. Independent contractors made up 10.3 million people (7.4% of the total workforce) in February 2005, followed by on-call workers (2.5 million, or 1.8%), temporary help agency workers (1.2 million, or 0.9%), and contract company employees (813,000, or 0.6%).

Workers with alternative arrangements were less likely than workers with traditional arrangements to be enrolled in school in February 2005, the BLS noted in the same report. About one-quarter (26.6%) of independent contractors aged sixteen to twenty-four with alternative work arrangements, 41.4% of on-call workers with alternative work arrangements in that age group, 4.7% of temporary agency workers, and 13% of contract company workers were enrolled in school in February 2005, compared with 44.1% of sixteen- to twenty-four-year-old workers with traditional arrangements.

THE WORKING POOR

In 2005 approximately 7.7 million people who were in the labor force for twenty-seven weeks or more, or 5.4% of the total labor force, lived below the official poverty level, according to data presented by the BLS in A Profile of the Working Poor, 2005 (September 2007, http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpswp2005.pdf). These people are called the working poor because, despite working for at least twenty-seven weeks, their incomes still fell below the official poverty threshold. The poverty rate among families that had at least one member in the labor force for more than half the year was higher, at 6.4%.

The BLS also notes in A Profile of the Working Poor, 2005 that the poverty rate among those working or looking for work for at least twenty-seven weeks during 2005 was 5.4%. Among individuals who spent fifty to fifty-two weeks in the labor force in that year, the poverty rate was slightly lower, at 4.9%. Among people in the labor force for the full year who usually worked full-time, the poverty rate was 3.5%; among those who usually worked part-time, the poverty rate was 11.4%.

Gender, Race, and Age

Of the 142.8 million people aged sixteen and over who were in the labor force at least twenty-seven weeks during 2005, more women (4 million) than men (3.8 million) were poor. (See Table 1.12.) Because fewer women than men participated in the labor force in 2005 (65.5 million women, compared with 77.3 million men), there was an even greater discrepancy between the percentage of working women living in poverty (6.1%) and the percentage of working men whose earnings fell below the poverty threshold (4.8%).

Seven out of ten (70.7%) of the 7.5 million working poor in 2005 were white workers, yet African-American and Hispanic workers continued to experience poverty rates that were more than twice the rates of whites. (See Table 1.12.) More than one in ten working Hispanics (10.5%) as well as more than one in ten working African-Americans (10.5%) were living in poverty. Only 4.7% of whites and 4.7% of Asians were making wages below the poverty level. The poverty rate among working African-American women was much higher than among working African-American men (13% and 7.7%, respectively), just as the poverty rate was higher among working white women than it was among working white men (5% and 4.4%, respectively). Hispanic men and women had about equal poverty rates, while working Asian women actually had a lower poverty rate than working Asian men (4.4% and 5%, respectively).

Education and Poverty Rate

Among all the people in the labor force at least twenty-seven weeks during 2005, those with less than a high school diploma had a much higher poverty rate (14.1%) than did high school graduates (6.6%). (See Table 1.13.) Workers who had attained at least an associate's degree (4.7%) or who had graduated from college (1.7%) reported the lowest poverty rates. Poverty rates for African-American and Hispanic workers were 1.5 to two times higher than for white workers at many corresponding education levels. Poverty rates for Asian workers were also greater than for white workers, although the differences were less than for African-American or Hispanic workers. For example, the poverty rate of white high school graduates was 5.5% in 2005; in comparison, the poverty rates of African-American graduates (12.7%), Hispanic graduates (9.4%), and Asian graduates (7.3%) were all significantly higher.

Poverty disproportionately affected working women at all education levels. Men without a high school diploma had a poverty rate of 12.6%, while women had a poverty rate of 16.8%. (See Table 1.13.) Male high school graduates had a poverty rate of 5.6%, while female graduates had a rate of 8%. Men with an associate's degree had a poverty rate of 3.7%, while women with comparable education had a rate of 5.6%. Only among college graduates did the rate even out; it was 1.6% among men with bachelor's degrees and 1.7% among women. Poverty rates among working African-American women were particularly high, affecting

TABLE 1.12
Poverty status of people in the labor force for 27 weeks or more, by age, sex, race, and Hispanic ethnicity, 2005
[Numbers in thousands]
Below poverty level Ratea
Age and sex Total White Black or African American Asian Hispanic or Latino ethnicity Total White Black or African American Asian Hispanic or Latino ethnicity Total White Black or African American Asian Hispanic or Latino ethnicity
a Number below the poverty level as a percent of the total in the labor force for 27 weeks or more.
b Data not shown where base is less than 80,000
Note: Estimates for the above race groups (white, black or African American, and Asian) do not sum to totals because data are not presented for all races. In addition, people 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: Table 2. People in the Labor Force for 27 Weeks or More: Poverty Status by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic or Latino Ethnicity, 2005, in A Profile of the Working Poor, 2005, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, September 2007, http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpswp2005.pdf (accessed February 8, 2008)
Total, 16 years and older 142,824 117,078 16,122 6,290 18,905 7,744 5,477 1,694 298 1,983 5.4 4.7 10.5 4.7 10.5
16 to 19 years 4,192 3,483 511 78 602 438 313 100 8 105 10.5 9.0 19.5 9.7 17.5
20 to 24 years 13,370 10,767 1,704 447 2,347 1,610 1,144 353 50 328 12.0 10.6 20.8 11.1 14.0
25 to 34 years 31,022 24,581 3,914 1,621 5,873 2,138 1,472 516 76 681 6.9 6.0 13.2 4.7 11.6
35 to 44 years 34,779 27,978 4,223 1,782 4,974 1,752 1,268 352 70 557 5.0 4.5 8.3 3.9 11.2
45 to 54 years 34,422 28,688 3,701 1,371 3,311 1,166 804 246 73 196 3.4 2.8 6.6 5.4 5.9
55 to 64 years 19,649 16,851 1,701 787 1,445 532 399 105 13 93 2.7 2.4 6.2 1.7 6.4
65 years and older 5,390 4,730 368 205 353 108 77 22 8 22 2.0 1.6 6.0 4.1 6.3
Men, 16 years and older 77,329 64,603 7,482 3,396 11,557 3,750 2,846 574 170 1,203 4.8 4.4 7.7 5.0 10.4
16 to 19 years 2,082 1,739 246 43 369 182 129 34 7 56 8.8 7.4 13.8 b 15.1
20 to 24 years 7,211 5,897 832 245 1,453 727 536 124 32 194 10.1 9.1 14.9 12.8 13.4
25 to 34 years 17,342 14,076 1,826 887 3,807 1,043 804 141 46 457 6.0 5.7 7.7 5.2 12.0
35 to 44 years 19,104 15,738 1,950 976 3,021 891 705 116 40 323 4.7 4.5 6.0 4.1 10.7
45 to 54 years 18,159 15,362 1,708 729 1,879 603 430 115 37 111 3.3 2.8 6.7 5.0 5.9
55 to 64 years 10,400 9,083 753 412 817 244 195 35 7 51 2.3 2.1 4.6 1.6 6.2
65 years and older 3,030 2,708 166 104 212 59 47 10 2 12 2.0 1.7 5.9 2.2 5.6
Women, 16 years and older 65,495 52,475 8,640 2,894 7,348 3,994 2,631 1,119 128 780 6.1 5.0 13.0 4.4 10.6
16 to 19 years 2,110 1,744 265 35 234 256 184 66 1 50 12.1 10.6 24.9 b 21.3
20 to 24 years 6,159 4,870 872 202 894 882 608 230 18 134 14.3 12.5 26.4 9.0 15.0
25 to 34 years 13,680 10,504 2,088 733 2,066 1,095 668 374 30 223 8.0 6.4 17.9 4.1 10.8
35 to 44 years 15,674 12,240 2,272 806 1,953 861 562 236 30 234 5.5 4.6 10.4 3.7 12.0
45 to 54 years 16,263 13,326 1,993 641 1,432 563 375 131 37 86 3.5 2.8 6.6 5.7 6.0
55 to 64 years 9,249 7,768 948 375 628 288 204 70 6 42 3.1 2.6 7.4 1.7 6.7
65 years and older 2,360 2,022 202 101 141 49 30 12 6 10 2.1 1.5 6.1 b 7.4
TABLE 1.13
Poverty status of people in the labor force for 27 weeks or more, by educational attainment, race, Hispanic ethnicity, and sex, 2005

[Numbers in thousands]
Below poverty level Ratea
Educational attainment, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity Total Men Women Total Men Women Total Men Women
a Number below the poverty level as a percent of the total in the labor force for 27 weeks or more.
b Includes people with a high school diploma or equivalent.
c Includes people with a high school diploma or equivalent.
Note: Estimates for the above race groups (white, black or African American, and Asian) do not sum to totals because data are not presented for all races. In addition, people 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: Adapted from Table 3. People in the Labor Force for 27 Weeks or More: Poverty Status by Educational Attainment, Race, Hispanic or Latino Ethnicity, and Sex, 2005, in A Profile of the Working Poor, 2005, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, September 2007, http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpswp2005.pdf (accessed February 8, 2008)
Total, 16 years and older 142,824 77,329 65,495 7,744 3,750 3,994 5.4 4.8 6.1
Less than a high school diploma 15,961 10,136 5,825 2,255 1,277 979 14.1 12.6 16.8
High school graduates, no collegeb 42,947 24,154 18,793 2,844 1,343 1,500 6.6 5.6 8.0
Some college or associate degree 41,514 20,570 20,944 1,937 766 1,170 4.7 3.7 5.6
Bachelor's degree and higherc 42,402 22,469 19,933 708 364 345 1.7 1.6 1.7
White, 16 years and older 117,078 64,603 52,475 5,477 2,846 2,631 4.7 4.4 5.0
Less than a high school diploma 12,939 8,495 4,444 1,683 1,023 660 13.0 12.0 14.8
High school graduates, no collegeb 34,885 19,938 14,947 1,917 978 939 5.5 4.9 6.3
Some college or associate degree 34,111 17,221 16,890 1,349 574 775 4.0 3.3 4.6
Bachelor's degree and higher 35,143 18,949 16,194 528 272 257 1.5 1.4 1.6
Black or African American, 16 years and older 16,122 7,482 8,640 1,694 574 1,119 10.5 7.7 13.0
Less than a high school diploma 1,956 1,035 922 434 163 271 22.2 15.8 29.4
High school graduates, no collegeb 5,778 2,898 2,881 736 246 490 12.7 8.5 17.0
Some college or associate degree 5,050 2,151 2,899 435 123 312 8.6 5.7 10.8
Bachelor's degree and higherc 3,337 1,398 1,938 89 42 47 2.7 3.0 2.4
Asian, 16 years and older 6,290 3,396 2,894 298 170 128 4.7 5.0 4.4
Less than a high school diploma 568 303 265 57 36 21 10.0 11.9 7.8
High school graduates, no collegeb 1,243 690 552 90 59 31 7.3 8.6 5.6
Some college or associate degree 1,208 618 590 73 33 40 6.1 5.4 6.7
Bachelor's degree and higherc 3,271 1,785 1,487 78 41 36 2.4 2.3 2.5
Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, 16 years and older 18,905 11,557 7,348 1,983 1,203 780 10.5 10.4 10.6
Less than a high school diploma 6,651 4,604 2,047 1,099 720 379 16.5 15.6 18.5
High school graduates, no collegeb 5,747 3,524 2,223 542 319 223 9.4 9.1 10.0
Some college or associate degree 4,141 2,207 1,935 280 129 151 6.8 5.9 7.8
Bachelor's degree and higherc 2,365 1,222 1,143 62 35 27 2.6 2.9 2.4

29.4% of those without a high school diploma, 17% of women with a high school diploma, 10.8% of those with an associate's degree, and 2.4% of those with a bachelor's degree.

Occupations

During 2005, people working in managerial and professional specialty occupations had the lowest probability of being poor; only 1.8% of working managers and professionals had incomes below the poverty line. (See Table 1.14.) In contrast, the average poverty rate for workers in service occupations was quite high, at 10.8%. The BLS in A Profile of the Working Poor, 2005 reports that those working in the farming/fishing/forestry sector also had a high poverty rate, at 13.7%. In addition, construction workers had a higher probability than average (8.1%) of making wages below the poverty line, perhaps in part because of the seasonal nature of much construction work. In general, African-Americans and those of Hispanic/Latino ethnicity were more likely than whites to earn annual wages below the poverty level, regardless of occupation.

In all occupational groups except office and administrative support, women were more likely than men were to be poor. In 2003 men experienced a higher poverty rate in only one occupational group, office and administrative support, with a rate of 4% compared with 3.5% for women, according to A Profile of the Working Poor, 2005. In all other occupations, men fared better than women did. The poverty rate for women employed in sales and related occupations (9.2%) was more than two times that of their male counterparts (3.7%).

Poverty Trends by Family Structure

In 2005, of the 4.1 million working families who lived below the poverty level, 1.9 million of them were headed by single women, illustrating the disproportionate poverty suffered by families headed by single mothers. (See Table 1.15.) The poverty rate for families was 6.4%. The poverty rate for families with just one member in the labor force (12.7%) was more than seven times more than that of families with two or more members in the work-

TABLE 1.14
Poverty status of people in the labor force for 27 weeks or more, by occupation of longest job held, race, Hispanic ethnicity, and sex, 2005

[Numbers in thousands]
Below poverty level Ratea
Occupation, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity Total Men Women Total Men Women Total Men Women
a Number below the poverty level as a percent of the total in the labor force for 27 weeks or more who worked during the year.
b Includes a small number of people whose last job was in the Armed Forces.
c Data not shown where base is less than 80,000.
Note: Estimates for the above race groups (white, black or African American, and Asian) do not sum to totals because data are not presented for all races. In addition, people whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race and, therefore, are classified by ethnicity as well as by race. Dash represents or rounds to zero.
SOURCE: Adapted from Table 4. People in the Labor Force for 27 Weeks or More Who Worked during the Year: Poverty Status by Occupation of Longest Job Held, Race, Hispanic or Latino Ethnicity, and Sex, 2005, in A Profile of the Working Poor, 2005, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, September 2007, http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpswp2005.pdf (accessed February 8, 2008)
Total, 16 years and olderb 142,824 77,329 65,495 7,744 3,750 3,994 5.4 4.8 6.1
Management, professional, and related occupations 48,356 24,167 24,189 868 396 472 1.8 1.6 2.0
Service occupations 22,165 9,751 12,415 2,392 854 1,538 10.8 8.8 12.4
Sales and office occupations 34,467 12,768 21,699 1,672 485 1,186 4.8 3.8 5.5
Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations 15,462 14,861 601 1,044 985 59 6.8 6.6 9.8
Production, transportation, and material moving occupations 17,863 13,836 4,027 1,139 766 374 6.4 5.5 9.3
White, 16 years and olderb 117,078 64,603 52,475 5,477 2,846 2,631 4.7 4.4 5.0
Management, professional, and related occupations 40,540 20,610 19,930 637 290 347 1.6 1.4 1.7
Service occupations 16,738 7,433 9,305 1,585 595 989 9.5 8.0 10.6
Sales and office occupations 28,518 10,761 17,757 1,148 371 778 4.0 3.4 4.4
Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations 13,655 13,156 499 885 830 55 6.5 6.3 11.0
Production, transportation, and material moving occupations 14,147 11,155 2,993 821 590 232 5.8 5.3 7.7
Black or African American, 16 years and olderb 16,122 7,482 8,640 1,694 574 1,119 10.5 7.7 13.0
Management, professional, and related occupations 4,090 1,552 2,538 129 40 89 3.2 2.6 3.5
Service occupations 3,753 1,526 2,227 646 170 476 17.2 11.1 21.4
Sales and office occupations 3,899 1,194 2,705 405 81 324 10.4 6.8 12.0
Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations 1,088 1,024 63 97 96 1 8.9 9.4 (c)
Production, transportation, and material moving occupations 2,600 1,894 706 241 120 120 9.2 6.4 17.0
Asian, 16 years and olderb 6,290 3,396 2,894 298 170 128 4.7 5.0 4.4
Management, professional, and related occupations 2,825 1,565 1,259 63 40 24 2.2 2.5 1.9
Service occupations 1,049 492 557 95 57 38 9.0 11.6 6.8
Sales and office occupations 1,296 546 751 64 22 43 5.0 3.9 5.7
Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations 275 252 23 14 14 5.2 5.6
Production, transportation, and material moving occupations 644 438 206 35 26 9 5.4 5.9 4.3
Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, 16 years and olderb 18,905 11,557 7,348 1,983 1,203 780 10.5 10.4 10.6
Management, professional, and related occupations 3,078 1,477 1,601 92 54 38 3.0 3.6 2.4
Service occupations 4,371 2,282 2,089 645 313 332 14.7 13.7 15.9
Sales and office occupations 3,835 1,577 2,258 290 95 195 7.6 6.0 8.6
Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations 3,698 3,543 156 485 461 24 13.1 13.0 15.4
Production, transportation, and material moving occupations 3,349 2,463 886 355 241 114 10.6 9.8 12.8

force (1.6%). Families maintained by women with one member in the labor force (with a poverty rate of 22.4%) were significantly more likely to be poor than similar families maintained by men (11.7%). Married-couple families with two or more members in the labor force had the lowest poverty rate (1.2%).

EMPLOYEE TENURE

Information on tenure (how long a person has worked for his or her current employer) is often used to gauge employment security. A trend of increasing tenure in the economy can be interpreted as a sign of improving job security, with the opposite being an indicator of deteriorating security.

TABLE 1.15
Poverty status of families by presence of related children, work experience of family members in the labor force for 27 weeks or more, and type of family, 2005

[Numbers in thousands]
Characteristic Total families At or above poverty level Below poverty level Rate*
*Number below the poverty level as a percent of the total in the labor force for 27 weeks or more.
Note: Data relate to primary families with at least one member in the labor force for 27 weeks or more.
SOURCE: Table 5. Primary Families: Poverty Status, Presence of Related Children, and Work Experience of Family Members in the Labor Force for 27 Weeks or More, 2005, in A Profile of the Working Poor, 2005, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, September 2007, http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpswp2005.pdf (accessed February 8, 2008)
Total primary families 64,360 60,266 4,094 6.4
With related children under 18 years 36,075 32,658 3,417 9.5
Without children 28,285 27,608 676 2.4
With one member in the labor force 27,498 24,003 3,494 12.7
With two or more members in the labor force 36,862 36,263 600 1.6
With two members 31,025 30,481 544 1.8
With three or more members 5,837 5,782 55 1.0
Married-couple families 48,899 47,111 1,787 3.7
With related children under 18 years 26,287 24,846 1,441 5.5
Without children 22,612 22,265 347 1.5
With one member in the labor force 16,772 15,377 1,394 8.3
Husband 12,451 11,372 1,079 8.7
Wife 3,665 3,405 260 7.1
Relative 655 600 55 8.4
With two or more members in the labor force 32,127 31,734 393 1.2
With two members 27,270 26,911 359 1.3
With three or more members 4,857 4,823 34 .7
Families maintained by women 10,966 9,041 1,925 17.6
With related children under 18 years 7,461 5,772 1,689 22.6
Without children 3,505 3,269 236 6.7
With one member in the labor force 7,924 6,151 1,773 22.4
Householder 6,597 5,060 1,537 23.3
Relative 1,326 1,090 236 17.8
With two or more members in the labor force 3,042 2,890 152 5.0
Families maintained by men 4,496 4,114 382 8.5
With related children under 18 years 2,328 2,040 288 12.4
Without children 2,168 2,074 94 4.3
With one member in the labor force 2,802 2,475 327 11.7
Householder 2,287 2,013 274 12.0
Relative 515 462 53 10.3
With two or more members in the labor force 1,693 1,639 55 3.2

However, job security trends are not necessarily that simple. During recessions or other periods of declining job security, the proportion of median-tenure and long-tenure workers could rise because workers with less seniority are more likely to lose their jobs than are workers with longer tenure. During periods of economic growth, the proportion of median-tenure and long-tenure workers could fall, because more job opportunities are available for new job entrants, and experienced workers have more opportunities to change employers and take better jobs. However, tenure can also rise under improving economic conditions, as fewer layoffs occur and good job matches develop between workers and employers.

As shown in Table 1.16, median tenure (the point at which half the workers had more tenure and half had less) in January 2006 was four years, the same as in January 2004 but higher than figures obtained in 2002, 2000, 1998, or 1996. Between 1996 and 2006 the median tenure with current employer for male workers held fairly steady, at four years in 1996 and 4.1 years in 2006. Job tenure for male workers age twenty-five and over, though, actually declined during the decade, from 5.3 years in 1996 to 5 years in 2006. Overall median tenure with current employer among women rose somewhat between 1996 and 2006, from 3.5 in 1996 to 3.9 in 2006. This can be explained by fewer women taking time out of the labor force to care for small children. However, the median employee tenure was still half a year longer among men than among women.

In addition to tracking trends in median tenure, the BLS, in Employee Tenure in 2006 (September 8, 2006, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/tenure.pdf), charts trends in the proportion of workers with relatively long tenures of ten years or more. Among workers age twenty-five and over, the percent of workers with these long tenures dropped slightly from 30.5% in February 1996 to 30% in 2006. The percent of women with tenures of ten years or more with current employer, however, actually rose during that decade, from 27.6% in 1996 to 28.8% in 2006. The proportion of men who had worked for their current employer ten years or longer fell from 33.1% in 1996 to 31.1% in 2006.

TABLE 1.16
Median years of tenure with current employer for employed wage and salary workers, by age and sex, selected years, 19962006
Age and sex February 1996 February 1998 February 2000 January 2002 January 2004 January 2006
Note: Data for 1996 and 1998 are based on population controls from the 1990 census. Data beginning in 2000 reflect the introduction of census 2000 population controls and are not strictly comparable with data for prior years. In addition, data for January 2004 reflect the introduction of revisions to population controls in January 2003 and 2004, and data for January 2006 reflect the introduction of revisions to population controls in January 2005 and 2006.
SOURCE: Table 1. Median Years of Tenure with Current Employer for Employed Wage and Salary Workers by Age and Sex, Selected Years, 19962006, in Employee Tenure in 2006, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, September 8, 2006, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/tenure.pdf (accessed February 3, 2008)
Total
16 years and over 3.8 3.6 3.5 3.7 4.0 4.0
16 to 17 years .7 .6 .6 .7 .7 .6
18 to 19 years .7 .7 .7 .8 .8 .7
20 to 24 years 1.2 1.1 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.3
25 years and over 5.0 4.7 4.7 4.7 4.9 4.9
25 to 34 years 2.8 2.7 2.6 2.7 2.9 2.9
35 to 44 years 5.3 5.0 4.8 4.6 4.9 4.9
45 to 54 years 8.3 8.1 8.2 7.6 7.7 7.3
55 to 64 years 10.2 10.1 10.0 9.9 9.6 9.3
65 years and over 8.4 7.8 9.4 8.6 9.0 8.8
Men
16 years and over 4.0 3.8 3.8 3.9 4.1 4.1
16 to 17 years .6 .6 .6 .8 .7 .7
18 to 19 years .7 .7 .7 .8 .8 .7
20 to 24 years 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.4 1.3 1.4
25 years and over 5.3 4.9 4.9 4.9 5.1 5.0
25 to 34 years 3.0 2.8 2.7 2.8 3.0 2.9
35 to 44 years 6.1 5.5 5.3 5.0 5.2 5.1
45 to 54 years 10.1 9.4 9.5 9.1 9.6 8.1
55 to 64 years 10.5 11.2 10.2 10.2 9.8 9.5
65 years and over 8.3 7.1 9.0 8.1 8.2 8.3
Women
16 years and over 3.5 3.4 3.3 3.4 3.8 3.9
16 to 17 years .7 .6 .6 .7 .6 .6
18 to 19 years .7 .7 .7 .8 .8 .7
20 to 24 years 1.2 1.1 1.0 1.1 1.3 1.2
25 years and over 4.7 4.4 4.4 4.4 4.7 4.8
25 to 34 years 2.7 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.8 2.8
35 to 44 years 4.8 4.5 4.3 4.2 4.5 4.6
45 to 54 years 7.0 7.2 7.3 6.5 6.4 6.7
55 to 64 years 10.0 9.6 9.9 9.6 9.2 9.2
65 years and over 8.4 8.7 9.7 9.4 9.6 9.5

In January 2006, about one-quarter (24.4%) of workers aged sixteen and over had worked for their current employer for twelve months or less, the BLS notes in Employee Tenure in 2006. These included workers who had recently entered the workforce, as well as workers who had changed employers in the previous year. Another 29.1% of the workforce had worked for their current employer for one to five years. One-fifth (20.9%) had worked for their current employer for five to nine years, 9.5% had worked for ten to fourteen years, 6.7% had worked for fifteen to nineteen years, and almost one in ten (9.4%) had worked for their current employer for twenty years or more.

Industry

Employee Tenure in 2006 also reports that in January 2006 workers in utilities had the highest median tenure (10.4 years) of the major industries identified by the BLS. (See Table 1.17.) Government employees tended to have above average median employee tenures; the median tenure for federal government employees was 9.9 years, for local government employees it was 6.6 years, and for state government employees it was 6.3 years. Employee tenure was fairly short in leisure and hospitality, with a median tenure of only 1.9 years.

Number of Jobs Held

The more jobs a person holds in their working years, the shorter their employee tenures. From 1978 to 2004 Americans held an average of 10.5 different jobs when they were between the ages of eighteen and forty. Men had held 10.7 jobs on average, and women had held 10.3 jobs. People with associate's or bachelor's degrees had a higher average number of jobs, at 10.9 and 10.7, respectively, perhaps because students tend to hold part-time jobs during the school year or summers that may change frequently. (See Table 1.18.)

TABLE 1.17
Median years of tenure with current employer for employed wage and salary workers, by industry, selected years, 200006
Industry February
2000
January
2002
January
2004
January
2006
Total, 16 years and over 3.5 3.7 4.0 4.0
Private sector 3.2 3.3 3.5 3.6
Agriculture and related industries 3.7 4.2 3.7 3.8
Nonagricultural industries 3.2 3.3 3.5 3.6
Mining 4.8 4.5 5.2 3.8
Construction 2.7 3.0 3.0 3.0
Manufacturing 4.9 5.4 5.8 5.5
Durable goods manufacturing 4.8 5.5 6.0 5.6
Nonmetallic mineral products 5.5 5.3 4.8 5.0
Primary metals and fabricated metal products 5.0 6.3 6.4 6.2
Machinery manufacturing 5.3 6.8 6.4 6.6
Computers and electronic products 3.9 4.7 5.2 5.9
Electrical equipment and appliances 5.0 5.5 9.8 6.2
Transportation equipment 6.4 7.0 7.7 7.2
Wood products 3.7 4.3 5.0 4.7
Furniture and fixtures 4.4 4.7 4.7 4.2
Miscellaneous manufacturing 3.7 4.5 4.6 3.9
Nondurable goods manufacturing 5.0 5.3 5.5 5.4
Food manufacturing 4.6 5.0 4.9 5.2
Beverage and tobacco products 5.5 4.6 8.0 5.4
Textiles, apparel, and leather 4.7 5.0 5.0 4.4
Paper and printing 5.1 6.2 6.9 6.3
Petroleum and coal products 9.5 9.8 11.4 5.0
Chemicals 6.0 5.7 5.3 6.1
Plastics and rubber products 4.6 5.3 5.7 5.0
Wholesale and retail trade 2.7 2.8 3.1 3.1
Wholesale trade 3.9 3.9 4.3 4.6
Retail trade 2.5 2.6 2.8 2.8
Transportation and utilities 4.7 4.9 5.3 4.9
Transportation and warehousing 4.0 4.3 4.7 4.3
Utilities 11.5 13.4 13.3 10.4
Information* 3.4 3.3 4.3 4.8
Publishing, except Internet 4.2 4.8 4.7 5.3
Motion picture and sound recording industries 1.6 2.3 2.2 1.9
Broadcasting, except Internet 3.6 3.1 4.0 4.6
Telecommunications 4.3 3.4 4.6 5.3
Financial activities 3.5 3.6 3.9 4.0
Finance and insurance 3.6 3.9 4.1 4.1
Finance 3.3 3.6 4.0 3.9
Insurance 4.4 4.5 4.4 4.7
Real estate and rental and leasing 3.1 3.0 3.3 3.4
Real estate 3.1 3.2 3.5 3.5
Rental and leasing services 3.0 2.2 2.9 3.1
Professional and business services 2.4 2.7 3.2 3.2
Professional and technical services 2.6 3.1 3.6 3.8
Management, administrative, and waste services* 2.0 2.1 2.6 2.5
Administrative and support services 1.8 1.9 2.4 2.4
Waste management and remediation services 3.6 4.3 3.4 4.1
Education and health services 3.4 3.5 3.6 4.0
Educational services 3.2 3.6 3.8 4.0
Health care and social assistance 3.5 3.5 3.6 4.1
Hospitals 5.1 4.9 4.7 5.2
Health services, except hospitals 3.2 3.1 3.3 3.6
Social assistance 2.4 2.5 2.8 3.1
Leisure and hospitality 1.7 1.8 2.0 1.9
Arts, entertainment, and recreation 2.6 2.3 2.8 3.1
Accommodation and food services 1.5 1.6 1.9 1.6
Accommodation 2.8 2.7 3.1 2.5
Food services and drinking places 1.4 1.4 1.6 1.4

Among non-Hispanic whites, average number of jobs held did not vary between men and womeneach had an average of 10.6 jobs. (See Table 1.18.) However, African-American and Hispanic men and women differed markedly in average number of jobs held. African-American men held an average of 10.8 jobs between the ages of eighteen and forty, while African-American women of the same age held an average of only 9.3 jobs. Hispanic men held an average of 11.2 jobs between the ages of eighteen and forty, while Hispanic women held an average of only 8.7.

UNION MEMBERSHIP

In 2007, 12.1% of American workers were union members. (See Table 1.19.) This figure represented a

TABLE 1.17
Median years of tenure with current employer for employed wage and salary workers, by industry, selected years, 200006
Industry February
2000
January
2002
January
2004
January
2006
* Includes other industries, not shown separately.
Note: Data for January 2004 reflect the introduction of revisions to population controls in January 2003 and 2004. Data for January 2006 reflect the introduction of revisions to population controls in January 2005 and 2006.
SOURCE: Table 5. Median Years of Tenure with Current Employer for Employed Wage and Salary Workers by Industry, Selected Years, 200006, in Employee Tenure in 2006, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, September 8, 2006, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/tenure.pdf (accessed February 3, 2008)
Other services 3.1 3.3 3.3 3.2
Other services, except private households 3.2 3.3 3.5 3.3
Repair and maintenance 3.0 3.0 3.2 2.9
Personal and laundry services 2.7 2.8 3.4 2.8
Membership associations and organizations 4.0 4.1 3.9 4.2
Other services, private households 3.0 2.7 2.3 2.8
Public sector 7.1 6.7 6.9 6.9
Federal government 11.5 11.3 10.4 9.9
State government 5.5 5.4 6.4 6.3
Local government 6.7 6.2 6.4 6.6

dramatic decline from 1973, when nearly one-quarter (24%) of wage and salary workers in the United States belonged to a union. According to Barry T. Hirsch and David A. Macpherson in the Union Membership and Coverage Database (Union Membership, Coverage, Density, and Employment among All Wage and Salary Workers, 19732007, February 8, 2008, http://wwww.unionstats.com/), union membership declined rapidly during the 1980s to 16.1% by 1990, and the downward trend has continued into the twenty-first century, hitting a low of 12% in 2006.

It should be noted that a worker might be represented by a union in contract negotiations but not be a dues-paying member. In a right-to-work state a worker is allowed to join a unionized company and not be forced to join the union. By law, the nonunion worker, working in a unionized company, must benefit from any union contract. Unions represented 13.3% of wage and salary employees in 2007; that is, 13.3% of workers held jobs that were covered by a union contract whether or not they were affiliated with the union personally. (See Table 1.19.) Studies, such as that by Solomon W. Polachek of the State University of New York at Binghamton (What Can We Learn about the Decline in U.S. Union Membership from International Data? September 2002, http://www.middlebury.edu/NR/rdonlyres/0A720CA0-1033-4ACC-917D-746553305EBF/0/Polachek_final_paper.pdf), have explored why union membership has dwindled. It has been established that the recession of the early 1980s, the movement of jobs overseas, the decline in traditionally unionized heavy industry, as well as the expansion of traditionally nonunionized sectors of the economy (such as management and business services and other service occupations) contributed to a general decline in union membership that has been documented in data comparable from year to year since 1983. Auburn University's Anju Mehta, in Is Outsourcing the End of Unionism? Exploring the Impact of Outsourcing on Labor Unions in the U.S. (July 2007, http://www.globalwork.in/GDW07/pdf/25-317-324.pdf), notes that in a strategy that was counter to past contract negotiations, many unions in the 1980s agreed to give backs (surrendering existing benefits) and lower salaries in exchange for job guarantees. Nonetheless, movement of jobs from the United States to other countries continued, which resulted in fewer jobs for American workers and more plant closings, and prompted more aggressive recruitments of members by unions during the 1990s.

As of 2008, leading labor unions in the United States included:

  • AFL-CIO Formed in 1955 by the merger of the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations, the AFL-CIO, according to its Web site (http://www.aflcio.org/aboutus/), by 2008 represented about 10.5 million American workers in fifty-six affiliated unions, ranging from the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) to the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC) and the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC).
  • American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Boasting membership of 1.4 million in 2008 (http://www.afscme.org/about/aboutindex.cfm), the nation's largest union of public service employees was founded during the Great Depression of the 1930s to protect the rights of state and local government employees.
  • American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Representing the economic, social, and professional interests of classroom teachers since 1916, the AFT included more than three thousand local affiliates and over 1.4 million members in 2008 (http://www.aft.org/about/index.htm).
  • Communications Workers of America Growing out of the telephone industry in the early part of the

    TABLE 1.18
    Number of jobs held by individuals from age 18 to age 40, by demographic characteristics, 19782004
    Percent distribution by number of jobs held
    Characteristic Total 0 or 1 job 2 to 4 jobs 5 to 7 jobs 8 to 10 jobs 11 to 14 jobs 15 or more jobs Mean number of jobs held
    a Includes persons with a high school diploma or equivalent.
    b Includes persons with a bachelor's, master's, professional, and doctoral degrees.
    c Data not shown where cell size is less than 50.
    Notes: This table excludes individuals who turned age 18 before Jan. 1, 1978, or who had not yet turned age 41 when interviewed in 2004/05. The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 consists of men and women who were born in the years 195764 and were ages 14 to 22 when first interviewed in 1979. These individuals were ages 39 to 48 in 200405. Educational attainment is defined as of the 2004 survey. Race and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity groups are mutually exclusive but not exhaustive. Other race groups, which are included in the overall totals, are not shown separately because their representation in the survey sample is not sufficiently large to provide statistically reliable estimates.
    SOURCE: Number of Jobs Held by Individuals from Age 18 to Age 40 in 1978 to 2004 by Education Attainment, Sex, Race, Hispanic or Latino Ethnicity, and Age, in National Longitudinal Surveys, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Undated, http://www.bls.gov/nls/y79r21jobsbyedu.pdf (accessed February 3, 2008)
    Total 100.0 1.4 13.4 20.2 23.1 20.8 21.2 10.5
    Less than a high school diploma 100.0 4.3 16.8 17.5 18.5 18.1 24.8 10.6
    High school graduates, no collegea 100.0 1.3 16.0 22.2 20.9 19.6 20.0 10.2
    Some college or associate degree 100.0 1.0 11.9 20.1 23.9 21.0 22.1 10.9
    Bachelor's degree and higherb 100.0 0.9 9.0 18.1 27.9 23.4 20.7 10.7
    Men 100.0 1.0 14.2 19.8 22.1 20.2 22.7 10.7
    Less than a high school diploma 100.0 0.7 13.8 17.1 17.9 18.2 32.3 12.0
    High school graduates, no collegea 100.0 1.5 16.3 20.3 20.9 18.2 22.8 10.5
    Some college or associate degree 100.0 0.4 13.2 22.6 19.2 19.4 25.3 11.1
    Bachelor's degree and higherb 100.0 0.7 11.6 18.2 28.3 25.3 15.8 10.4
    Women 100.0 1.9 12.6 20.5 24.1 21.3 19.6 10.3
    Less than a high school diploma 100.0 9.3 21.0 18.1 19.2 18.0 14.4 8.6
    High school graduates, no collegea 100.0 1.0 15.8 24.3 20.8 21.3 16.9 9.8
    Some college or associate degree 100.0 1.5 10.9 18.2 27.6 22.3 19.5 10.7
    Bachelor's degree and higherb 100.0 1.0 6.4 18.0 27.5 21.5 25.7 11.2
    White non-Hispanic 100.0 1.2 13.5 19.7 23.3 20.9 21.6 10.6
    Less than a high school diploma 100.0 4.0 13.6 17.6 18.5 17.8 28.5 11.3
    High school graduates, no collegea 100.0 1.1 17.1 22.1 20.6 19.4 19.7 10.1
    Some college or associate degree 100.0 0.4 12.4 19.1 23.2 21.0 23.8 11.1
    Bachelor's degree and higherb 100.0 1.0 9.1 17.4 28.5 23.7 20.3 10.7
    White non-Hispanic men 100.0 0.9 15.0 20.2 22.0 19.7 22.1 10.6
    Less than a high school diploma 100.0 0.0 12.4 16.9 17.7 15.0 38.1 12.8
    High school graduates, no collegea 100.0 1.6 18.4 21.1 20.4 17.4 21.2 10.2
    Some college or associate degree 100.0 0.0 14.3 24.1 17.2 17.8 26.6 11.1
    Bachelor's degree and higherb 100.0 0.8 11.5 17.6 29.1 26.0 14.9 10.1
    White non-Hispanic women 100.0 1.5 11.9 19.1 24.5 22.1 21.0 10.6
    Less than a high school diploma 100.0 9.2 15.3 18.6 19.4 21.6 15.8 9.3
    High school graduates, no collegea 100.0 0.5 15.7 23.2 20.8 21.7 18.1 10.1
    Some college or associate degree 100.0 0.8 10.9 15.1 28.1 23.6 21.5 11.2
    Bachelor's degree and higherb 100.0 1.1 6.6 17.2 27.8 21.4 25.8 11.2
    Black non-Hispanic 100.0 2.3 13.0 21.2 22.8 21.0 19.6 10.1
    Less than a high school diploma 100.0 3.5 24.5 17.1 18.7 18.3 17.9 9.2
    High school graduates, no collegea 100.0 2.0 12.1 20.7 22.5 22.2 20.5 10.3
    Some college or associate degree 100.0 3.0 9.9 23.4 25.9 21.0 16.7 10.0
    Bachelor's degree and higherb 100.0 0.0 9.2 23.4 21.9 20.4 25.1 10.5
    Black non-Hispanic men 100.0 1.5 11.6 17.0 23.8 22.9 23.2 10.8
    Less than a high school diploma 100.0 2.8 19.4 16.5 17.4 24.7 19.1 10.0
    High school graduates, no collegea 100.0 1.0 9.1 15.6 24.7 21.7 28.0 11.4
    Some college or associate degree 100.0 2.3 9.1 18.5 28.2 24.3 17.6 10.6
    Bachelor's degree and higherb 100.0 14.8 21.1 21.2 22.9 19.9 9.9
    Black non-Hispanic women 100.0 3.1 14.6 25.8 21.8 18.9 15.8 9.3
    Less than a high school diploma 100.0 4.6 32.5 18.0 20.8 8.2 15.9 7.9
    High school graduates, no collegea 100.0 3.4 16.3 27.9 19.5 22.9 10.1 8.8
    Some college or associate degree 100.0 3.6 10.5 26.7 24.4 18.7 16.1 9.7
    Bachelor's degree and higherb 100.0 4.8 25.2 22.4 18.5 29.0 11.1
    Hispanic or Latino 100.0 2.1 15.0 24.0 20.2 19.0 19.7 10.0
    Less than a high school diploma 100.0 3.6 21.9 15.8 19.4 20.5 18.7 9.8
    High school graduates, no collegea 100.0 2.2 13.7 28.6 17.5 16.3 21.7 10.0
    Some college or associate degree 100.0 1.5 13.3 22.8 25.0 20.2 17.2 10.1
    Bachelor's degree and higherb 100.0 8.5 26.7 20.7 23.5 20.6 10.4
    Hispanic or Latino men 100.0 1.2 11.5 20.7 21.1 19.3 26.2 11.2
    Less than a high school diploma 100.0 0.8 12.3 14.8 20.5 24.2 27.4 11.9
    High school graduates, no collegea 100.0 2.5 10.4 24.2 19.2 16.8 26.9 10.8
    Some college or associate degree 100.0 0.0 12.7 19.5 22.5 19.6 25.7 11.5
    Bachelor's degree and higherb 100.0 c c c c c c c
    Hispanic or Latino women 100.0 3.1 18.8 27.6 19.3 18.7 12.5 8.7
    Less than a high school diploma 100.0 7.3 34.9 17.2 17.9 15.6 6.9 7.0
    High school graduates, no collegea 100.0 1.8 17.2 33.2 15.7 15.7 16.3 10.0
    Some college or associate degree 100.0 3.1 13.9 26.0 27.4 20.8 8.8 10.1
    Bachelor's degree and higherb 100.0 c c c c c c c

    twentieth century, the CWA is the nation's largest communications and media union with, according to its Web site (http://www.cwa-union.org/about/profile.html), more than seven hundred thousand members in such sectors as telecommunications, broadcasting, cable TV, journalism, publishing, and electronics.

  • The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW)With 640,000 active and over 500,000 retired members in more than 800 local unions in 2008 (http://www.uaw.org/about/uawmembership.html), the UAW protects the rights of automobile and aeronautics

    TABLE 1.18
    Number of jobs held by individuals from age 18 to age 40, by demographic characteristics, 19782004
    Percent distribution by number of jobs held
    Characteristic Total 0 or 1 job 2 to 4 jobs 5 to 7 jobs 8 to 10 jobs 11 to 14 jobs 15 or more jobs Mean number of jobs held
    a Includes persons with a high school diploma or equivalent.
    b Includes persons with a bachelor's, master's, professional, and doctoral degrees.
    c Data not shown where cell size is less than 50.
    Notes: This table excludes individuals who turned age 18 before Jan. 1, 1978, or who had not yet turned age 41 when interviewed in 2004/05. The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 consists of men and women who were born in the years 195764 and were ages 14 to 22 when first interviewed in 1979. These individuals were ages 39 to 48 in 200405. Educational attainment is defined as of the 2004 survey. Race and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity groups are mutually exclusive but not exhaustive. Other race groups, which are included in the overall totals, are not shown separately because their representation in the survey sample is not sufficiently large to provide statistically reliable estimates.
    SOURCE: Number of Jobs Held by Individuals from Age 18 to Age 40 in 1978 to 2004 by Education Attainment, Sex, Race, Hispanic or Latino Ethnicity, and Age, in National Longitudinal Surveys, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Undated, http://www.bls.gov/nls/y79r21jobsbyedu.pdf (accessed February 3, 2008)
    Hispanic or Latino women 100.0 3.1 18.8 27.6 19.3 18.7 12.5 8.7
    Less than a high school diploma 100.0 7.3 34.9 17.2 17.9 15.6 6.9 7.0
    High school graduates, no collegea 100.0 1.8 17.2 33.2 15.7 15.7 16.3 10.0
    Some college or associate degree 100.0 3.1 13.9 26.0 27.4 20.8 8.8 10.1
    Bachelor's degree and higherb 100.0 c c c c c c c

    workers, and since 1935 has won such landmark concessions as employer-paid health care and cost-of-living allowances.

  • United Mine Workers of America The United Mine Workers, an AFL-CIO affiliated union, has won several hard-fought battles to ensure fair compensation, health care, and safety standards in the mining industry since the union's inception in 1890 (http://www.umwa.org/who/).

Industry and Occupation

According to the BLS in Union Members in 2007 (January 25, 2008, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/union2.pdf), in 2007 public sector workers had a much higher rate of union membership than did private sector employees (35.9% and 7.5%, respectively). Among the private nonagricultural industries, transportation and utilities had the highest unionization rate (22.1%) in 2007; 28.4% of workers in the utilities sub-sector belonged to unions and 20.9% of workers in the transportation and warehousing sub-sector belonged to unions. Although about an average number of workers in information services were unionized in 2007, almost one in five (19.7%) telecommunications workers were.

People in certain occupations were more likely to be unionized than others. In 2007, as noted by the BLS in Union Members in 2007, professionals had a high unionization rate of 18.2%, fueled largely by the very high unionization rate among people working in education, training, and library services (37.2%). People in protective service occupations, which include many government workers (such as police, prison guards, and firefighters), also had a high percentage of union members, at 35.2%.

Characteristics of Union Members

A greater proportion of African-Americans were union members in 2007 than any other group. Among working African-Americans, 14.3% were union members in 2007, compared with 11.8% of whites, 10.9% of Asians, and 9.8% of Hispanics. (See Table 1.19.) Among whites, African-Americans, and to a lesser degree Hispanics, union membership was lower for women than for men. Although 15.8% of employed African-American men were union members in 2007, only 13% of African-American women were. White men had higher union membership (12.8%) than white women (10.8%); Hispanic men (9.9%) had higher union membership than Hispanic women (9.6%). Conversely, among Asians, women had the higher rate of union membership, at 11.6%, compared with a rate of 10.2% for Asian men.

Earnings

In 2007 union members garnered a median weekly salary ($863) that was $200 higher than the median weekly salary of those not represented by unions ($663). (See Table 1.20.) Unionized women earned a median weekly paycheck of $790, compared with $592 for women not belonging to or represented by a union, a difference of $198 per week. Men who belonged to a union had median weekly earnings of $913, compared with $738 for nonunion men, a difference of $175 per week. The disparity in earnings was greatest for Hispanic workers in 2007. The median weekly earnings of unionized Hispanic workers was $736, compared with just $487 for nonunionized Hispanic employees, a difference of $249 per week. These differences are in part due to a union's ability to win higher wages for its members, and in part due to the fact that unionized employees are often working in relatively higher-paid industries than nonunionized employees.

According to the BLS in Union Members in 2007, in nearly all occupations, with the exception of people in management, professional, and related occupations, people represented by unions earned more than those who were not in 2007. The better wages among unionized employees also held true in all private sector industries except in financial activities and professional and technical services, where nonunionized employees earned slightly more than unionized ones. In the public sector, nonunionized federal employees made slightly more than unionized federal employees, although at the state and local levels, unionized employees had the wage advantage

TABLE 1.19
Union affiliation of employed wage and salary workers, by selected characteristics, 200607

[Numbers in thousands]
2006 2007
Members of unionsa Represented by unionsb Members of unionsa Represented by unionsb
Characteristic Total employed Total Percent of employed Total Percent of employed Total employed Total Percent of employed Total Percent of employed
a Data refer to members of a labor union or an employee association similar to a union.
b Data refer to members of a labor union or an employee association similar to a union as well as workers who report no union affiliation but whose jobs are covered by a union or an employee association contract.
c The distinction between full- and part-time workers is based on hours usually worked. These data will not sum to totals because full- or part-time status on the principal job is not identifiable for a small number of multiple jobholders.
Note: Estimates for the above race groups (white, black or African American, and Asian) do not sum to totals because data are not presented for all races. Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Data refer to the sole or principal job of full- and part-time wage and salary workers. Excluded are all self-employed workers regardless of whether or not their businesses are incorporated. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.
SOURCE: Table 1. Union Affiliation of Employed Wage and Salary Workers by Selected Characteristics, in Union Members in 2007, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 25, 2008, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/union2.pdf (accessed February 3, 2008)
Age and sex
Total, 16 years and over 128,237 15,359 12.0 16,860 13.1 129,767 15,670 12.1 17,243 13.3
16 to 24 years 19,538 857 4.4 978 5.0 19,395 939 4.8 1,068 5.5
25 years and over 108,699 14,502 13.3 15,883 14.6 110,372 14,731 13.3 16,176 14.7
25 to 34 years 28,805 2,899 10.1 3,195 11.1 29,409 3,050 10.4 3,358 11.4
35 to 44 years 30,526 3,997 13.1 4,356 14.3 30,296 3,972 13.1 4,362 14.4
45 to 54 years 29,401 4,710 16.0 5,131 17.5 29,731 4,664 15.7 5,087 17.1
55 to 64 years 16,095 2,568 16.0 2,832 17.6 16,752 2,691 16.1 2,967 17.7
65 years and over 3,872 328 8.5 370 9.5 4,183 355 8.5 402 9.6
Men, 16 years and over 66,811 8,657 13.0 9,360 14.0 67,468 8,767 13.0 9,494 14.1
16 to 24 years 10,130 543 5.4 608 6.0 9,959 551 5.5 627 6.3
25 years and over 56,682 8,114 14.3 8,752 15.4 57,509 8,217 14.3 8,867 15.4
25 to 34 years 15,677 1,650 10.5 1,793 11.4 15,994 1,736 10.9 1,884 11.8
35 to 44 years 16,159 2,309 14.3 2,488 15.4 16,070 2,318 14.4 2,501 15.6
45 to 54 years 14,867 2,617 17.6 2,807 18.9 15,040 2,578 17.1 2,745 18.3
55 to 64 years 7,990 1,370 17.1 1,474 18.4 8,286 1,403 16.9 1,532 18.5
65 years and over 1,989 167 8.4 190 9.6 2,119 181 8.5 205 9.7
Women, 16 years and over 61,426 6,702 10.9 7,501 12.2 62,299 6,903 11.1 7,749 12.4
16 to 24 years 9,408 315 3.3 370 3.9 9,436 388 4.1 441 4.7
25 years and over 52,018 6,388 12.3 7,131 13.7 52,863 6,514 12.3 7,308 13.8
25 to 34 years 13,127 1,249 9.5 1,401 10.7 13,416 1,313 9.8 1,474 11.0
35 to 44 years 14,368 1,687 11.7 1,867 13.0 14,226 1,653 11.6 1,861 13.1
45 to 54 years 14,534 2,093 14.4 2,325 16.0 14,691 2,086 14.2 2,341 15.9
55 to 64 years 8,106 1,198 14.8 1,358 16.8 8,466 1,288 15.2 1,435 17.0
65 years and over 1,883 160 8.5 180 9.5 2,065 174 8.4 197 9.5
Race, Hispanic or Latino
ethnicity, and sex
White, 16 years and over 104,668 12,259 11.7 13,424 12.8 105,515 12,487 11.8 13,715 13.0
Men 55,459 7,115 12.8 7,668 13.8 55,771 7,134 12.8 7,708 13.8
Women 49,209 5,144 10.5 5,756 11.7 49,743 5,352 10.8 6,007 12.1
Black or African American, 16 years and over 14,878 2,163 14.5 2,391 16.1 15,177 2,165 14.3 2,403 15.8
Men 6,788 1,056 15.6 1,158 17.1 6,945 1,097 15.8 1,205 17.3
Women 8,090 1,107 13.7 1,233 15.2 8,232 1,067 13.0 1,198 14.6
Asian, 16 years and over 5,703 592 10.4 657 11.5 6,016 654 10.9 720 12.0
Men 3,015 286 9.5 316 10.5 3,168 324 10.2 348 11.0
Women 2,688 306 11.4 340 12.7 2,849 330 11.6 372 13.1
Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, 16 years and over 18,121 1,770 9.8 1,935 10.7 18,778 1,837 9.8 2,026 10.8
Men 10,842 1,064 9.8 1,144 10.6 11,163 1,108 9.9 1,208 10.8
Women 7,279 706 9.7 791 10.9 7,615 728 9.6 818 10.7
Full- or part-time statusc
Full-time workers 106,106 13,938 13.1 15,244 14.4 107,339 14,201 13.2 15,570 14.5
Part-time workers 21,863 1,382 6.3 1,573 7.2 22,172 1,437 6.5 1,635 7.4
TABLE 1.20
Median weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers, by union affiliation and selected characteristics, 200607
2006 2007
Characteristic Total Members of unionsa Represented by unionsb Nonunion Total Members of unionsa Represented by unionsb Nonunion
a Data refer to members of a labor union or an employee association similar to a union.
b Data refer to members of a labor union or an employee association similar to a union as well as workers who report no union affiliation but whose jobs are covered by a union or an employee association contract.
Note: Estimates for the above race groups (white, black or African American, and Asian) do not sum to totals because data are not presented for all races. Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Data refer to the sole or principal job of full-time wage and salary workers. Excluded are all self-employed workers regardless of whether or not their businesses are incorporated. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.
SOURCE: Table 2. Median Weekly Earnings of Full-Time Wage and Salary Workers by Union Affiliation and Selected Characteristics, in Union Members in 2007, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 25, 2008, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/union2.pdf (accessed February 3, 2008)
Age and sex
Total, 16 years and over $671 $833 $827 $642 $695 $863 $857 $663
16 to 24 years 409 526 523 404 424 566 551 418
25 years and over 718 850 845 691 738 880 876 712
25 to 34 years 621 773 766 606 643 789 781 622
35 to 44 years 748 853 849 728 769 910 907 745
45 to 54 years 773 888 884 750 790 900 899 763
55 to 64 years 765 882 883 741 803 925 921 766
65 years and over 583 675 667 573 605 634 682 597
Men, 16 years and over 743 887 885 717 766 913 910 738
16 to 24 years 418 526 521 413 443 567 557 432
25 years and over 797 904 902 771 823 930 928 796
25 to 34 years 661 831 822 640 687 823 819 664
35 to 44 years 836 918 914 816 873 971 969 847
45 to 54 years 897 936 939 883 909 958 961 892
55 to 64 years 902 928 930 893 933 954 952 926
65 years and over 658 650 653 659 686 732 776 672
Women, 16 years and over 600 758 753 579 614 790 784 592
16 to 24 years 395 527 529 391 409 564 540 403
25 years and over 627 768 763 607 646 805 800 620
25 to 34 years 583 727 716 565 597 753 745 580
35 to 44 years 645 759 755 626 668 826 820 640
45 to 54 years 659 807 798 628 677 813 810 650
55 to 64 years 658 819 822 627 679 886 881 641
65 years and over 510 690 678 495 534 582 608 520
Race, Hispanic or Latino
ethnicity, and sex
White, 16 years and over 690 859 854 659 716 889 884 684
Men 761 909 907 735 788 937 934 757
Women 609 777 772 588 626 814 807 603
Black or African American, 16 years and over 554 707 694 520 569 732 727 533
Men 591 745 734 557 600 768 763 573
Women 519 665 656 502 533 697 691 513
Asian, 16 years and over 784 834 840 774 830 853 881 823
Men 882 838 852 888 936 867 898 940
Women 699 828 824 681 731 842 871 712
Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, 16 years and over 486 686 681 469 503 736 729 487
Men 505 732 724 490 520 793 782 505
Women 440 607 614 420 473 675 672 446

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