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Education Levels and Low-Wage Work

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Abstract

Is education the key to getting low-wage workers out of poverty and into higher paying, middle class jobs? In the United States, roughly one in three jobs pays a low wage. The Center for Economic and Policy Research defines “low wage” as less than 66 percent of the median wage for male workers (the median weekly pay rate for men in the fourth quarter of 2009 was $825). Employees with higher levels of education do have a significantly lower probability of working a low-wage job or ending up in poverty. In Erie County, people 25 years old and older with a high school diploma have an 11.6 percent chance of being in poverty. For those who have at least a Bachelor’s Degree, the poverty rate plummets to 4.1 percent.

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2010-04-26

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Buffalo; Poverty/Low Wage Work/Income Inequality; Low Wage Work; Education; Poverty and Education; Economic Development; Workforce Development; Policy Brief; PPG; Housing/Neighborhoods

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