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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Bulletin 1731
1972

WUMm C LLE TIO
O C N







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Dayton & Montgomery

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JUN2 1972

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DOCUMENT COLLECTION

A D C O V eO f-

oocuf^rnorviawriGe
The last sentence, paragraph 1, page 1, "Intro d u ctio n ,” should read " T h e
change in the occupational distribution of black workers has had the effect
of reducing their unemployment rate by 0.3 percentage point, and of in­
creasing earnings more than $10 a week for full-tim e w orkers.”
Chart 3b, page 7, should read:
IN 1970, THE BLACK UNEMPLOYMENT RATE WAS 8 .2 % • • •
COMPARED WITH OVER 10% IN 1960.

Part of this reduction resulted from occupational advancementespecial ly of black men.

Chart 3b.
UNEMPLOYMENT RATE OF BLACK WORKERS
Percent

Reduction due to
.occupational advance
Reduction due to improved
•-employment opportunities

1960

1970

Occupational change had little or no effect on white unemployment rates.




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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
J. D. Hodgson, Secretary
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Geoffrey H. Moore, Commissioner
Bulletin 1731
1972

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office
Washington, D.C. 20402 - Price 40 cents




Stock Number 2901-0867




PREFACE
This chartbook was prepared by Sylvia Sm all in the Office of Eco­
nomic and Social Research, Bureau of Labor Statistics, under the
general direction of Robert L. Stein.
M axine Stewart, Program Planning O fficer of the Bureau, provided
expert guidance.
M arian

H ester was responsible fo r th e statistical com pilations

underlying th e charts and Susie Scandrett also contributed.




Ill




TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page
In tro d u c tio n __________________________________________________

1

O pportunities fo r occupational advancem ent of
black workers have been

im p ro v in g ______________________

2

The higher paid occupations tend to be
m ore s e c u re _______________________________________________

4

O ccupational change has led to higher earnings
and lower unem ploym ent fo r black w o rk e rs _______________

6

Occupational advancem ent is related to a b etter
prepared black p o p u la tio n _________________________________

8

Black youths are staying in school longer, and
m ore are going to c o lle g e _________________________________

10

The effect of educational and occupational advance
is most apparent among y o u n g black w o rk e rs _____________

12

Educational and occupational achievem ents, of
both young and old, have been higher in the
W est and North than in the South _________________________

14

As a result of w ider job choices and increased job
security, incomes of black w orkers have
in c re a s e d __________________________________________________

16

The im provem ent in black workers' jobs and security
has reduced, but not elim inated, low earners in
the labor f o r c e ____________________________________________
The fu tu re holds g reat p ro m is e _______________________________




v

18
20




INTRODUCTION
Black workers have been moving up the occupational scale in
recent years, away from the laborer and service occupations and
toward w hite-collar, craftsm en, and operative jobs. In 1 9 6 0 , 2 in
every 5 black workers were in w hite-collar, craftsm en, or operative
occupations. By 1 9 7 0 , m ore than half were in such jobs. These
occupations are less subject to unem ploym ent and they are b etter
paid. The change in the occupational distribution of black workers
has had the effect of reducing th e ir unem ploym ent rate by nearly
two points (1 .8

percentage points) and of increasing earnings

m ore than $ 1 0 a week for fu ll-tim e workers.
The charts th at follow separate th e black labor fo rc e * into th ree
occupational groups fo r analysis: The highest paid occupations,
which include professional, technical, and m anagerial workers,
whose usual earnings (m e d ia n ) for black men w orking fu ll tim e w ere
over $ 1 5 0 a week in 1 9 7 0 ; the m iddle pay levels, including clerical
and sales workers, craftsm en and forem en whose usual earnings
(m edian of black men working full tim e ) were $ 1 0 0 -$ 1 5 0 a week;
and the lower paid occupations whose usual earnings (m edian of
black men working full tim e ) were $ 1 0 0 a week or less. The charts
show th at black workers in the lowest occupational pay groupings
tend to have the lowest educational atta in m e n t, and th a t as one
proceeds up the occupational hierarchy education also increases.
Lack of education has often been a b a rrie r to em ploym ent in the
higher paid occupations, w hether required fo r perform ance of a
job or not. Since educational a tta in m e n t is much g re a te r fo r young
black workers than fo r older age groups, and since the trend to ­
ward increasing education continues, prospects are encouraging
for continued occupational advancem ent.
*D a ta for black workers shown in this report refer to the Negro population exclusively in
chart 5a, 5b, 7a, and 8b. All other charts are based on data fo r Negro and other non­
white races, 90 percent of whom are Negroes, according to the 1970 Census of Population.




1

O P P O R T U N IT IE S FO R
O C C U P A T IO N A L A D V A N C E M E N T O F B LA C K W O R K E R S
H A V E B E E N IM P R O V IN G . . .

BETWEEN 1960 AND 1970, THE NUMBER OF BLACK WORKERS IN HIGHERPAID AND MIDDLE LEVEL OCCUPATIONS* INCREASED SHARPLY . . .

Chart la .
BLACK WORKERS

Millions of employed

------------------------------------- 9

1960

1970

. . . while the number of black workers in lower-paid occupations decreased.

* See Introduction, page 1, fo r occupational pay level definitions.




2

GAINS OF WHITE WORKERS WERE SMALLER, PROPORTIONATELY . . .

Chart lb .
WHITE WORKERS

Millions of employed

-------------------------------------90

Percent
Change

Higher paid*

<

Professional
Technical &
M anagerial

Middle pay level*
Clerical
Sales
C raftsm en &
Operatives

Lower paid*

<

Service workers
workers
Farm workers

1970

1960

. . . but the share and number of white workers employed in the higher- paid
occupations continued to be much larger than for black workers.




3

T H E H IG H E R -P A ID
O C C U P A T IO N S T E N D TO BE
MORE SECURE...

BLACK MEN IN THE PROFESSIONAL, TECHNICAL, AND MANAGERIAL
OCCUPATIONS EARNED ABOUT $75 A WEEK MORE THAN LABORERS AND
SERVICE WORKERS . . .

Chart 2a.
USUAL WEEKLY EARNINGS, MAY 1970
(MEDIAN FOR FULL TIME WORKERS)

200
Professional
& technical

Higher
paid

MEN
WOMEN

M anagers,
officials
& proprietors®

C raftsm en
& foremen®

Middle
pay
level

<

Lower
paid

The usual earnings of black women in each occupation were generally lower than
those of men.

'N u m b e r of women employed in this occupation is too sm all to be shown separately.
®:!N u m b e r of men employed in this occupation is too sm all to be shown separately.




4

THE HIGHER-PAID OCCUPATIONS HAVE THE LOWEST UNEMPLOYMENT
RATES. . .

Chart 2b.
1970 UNEMPLOYMENT RATE
OF BLACK WORKERS

$0

2

4

6

8

10

MEN

Higher paid

WOMEN

Middle pay level

Lower paid

And black workers in the higher-paid occupations are rarely unemployed more than
once in a single year.
Chart 2c.
PERCENT UNEMPLOYED MORE THAN ONCE IN 1970 OF
ALL BLACK WORKERS

Higher paid

Middle paid

Lower paid

White men’s unemployment rates are lower, but follow the same pattern.
Women as well as men have the lowest unemployment rates in the
higher-paid occupations.




5

O C C U P A T IO N A L C H A N G E H A S LED
TO H IG H E R E A R N IN G S W IT H LO W ER U N E M P L O Y M E N T
FOR BLACK W ORKERS . . .

IN 1970, AVERAGE EARNINGS OF BLACK MEN WERE 1 1 % HIGHER, AND OF
BLACK WOMEN ABOUT 3 0 % HIGHER THAN THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN IF THE
BLACK LABOR FORCE HAD NOT BEEN MOVING INTO THE BETTER PAYING
OCCUPATIONS . . .
Chart 3a.
USUAL WEEKLY EARNINGS OF FULL-TIME BLACK WORKERS (MEDIAN)

Dollars
125
MEN

Earnings
attributable to
occupational
advances 1960-70

Similar occupational movement of white men contributed less than 3 % , and of
white^women about 4 % to 1970 earnings.




6

IN 1970, THE BLACK UNEMPLOYMENT RATE WAS 8 .2 % . . . BUT IT WOULD
HAVE BEEN 1 0 % IF OCCUPATIONAL DISTRIBUTION OF THE BLACK LABOR
FORCE HAD BEEN THE SAME AS IN 1960.

Chart 3b.
UNEMPLOYMENT RATE OF BLACK WORKERS

Percent
Reduction
because of
occupational
advance

Based on 1960
occupational distribution

1970

Occupational change had little or no effect on white unemployment rates.




7

O C C U P A T IO N A L A D V A N C E M E N T
IS R E L A T E D T O A B E T T E R P R E P A R E D
B LA C K P O P U L A T IO N . . .

BETTER EDUCATED BLACK WORKERS HAVE BEEN ABLE TO FILL
HIGHER-PAID JOBS.

Chart 4a.

Higher paid

\

With 4 years
of high school
or more

Without
a high school
diploma

Higher educational attainment leads to higher occupational attainment for both
men and women.




YOUNG BLACK ADULTS HAVE BEEN CLOSING THE EDUCATION GAP.

Chart 4b.
MEDIAN YEARS OF SCHOOL COMPLETED BY YOUNG ADULTS
(25-29 YEARS OLD)

Years

By 1970, educational attainment of young black adults was within one-half year of
young white people this age. Lack of education is often a barrier to employment
in better paid jobs for both black and white workers, whether education is
required for performance of the job or not.




9

BLACK Y O U T H S ARE
S T A Y IN G IN S C H O O L L O N G E R A N D M O R E
ARE G O IN G TO C O LLEG E . . .

BY 1970, MORE THAN HALF OF THE YOUNG BLACK ADULTS HAD FOUR YEARS
OF HIGH SCHOOL OR MORE . . .

Chart 5a.
PERCENT OF BLACK POPULATION AGES 25-29 WHO HAD COMPLETED
4 YEARS OF HIGH SCHOOL OR MORE, AND 4 YEARS OF COLLEGE

Percent
60

“ Data refer to Negro and other races.




College data not available.

10

. AND COLLEGE ENROLLMENTS INCREASED SHARPLY.

Chart 5b.
NUMBER OF BLACK YOUTH ENROLLED IN COLLEGE

500,000

400,000

300,000

200,000

5%

100,000




6%

7%

Percent of
total
enrollment

T H E EFF EC T O F E D U C A T IO N A L
A N D O C C U P A T IO N A L A D V A N C E IS M O S T A P P A R E N T
A M O N G Y O U N G BLACK W ORKERS .. .

YOUNGER BLACK WORKERS ARE MORE LIKELY TO BE IN HIGHER PAID
OCCUPATIONS THAN ARE OLDER AGE GROUPS . . .

Chart 6a.

Percent

Ages

Ages

Ages

25-34

35-54

55-64




HOWEVER, DESPITE GAINS MADE BY THE YOUNG, MANY ARE STILL IN THE
LOWEST PAID OCCUPATIONS.

Chart 6b.
BLACK WORKERS AS A PERCENT OF YOUNG WORKERS AGES 25-34,
BY OCCUPATIONAL PAY LEVEL

Percent

> White workers

> Black workers

0 —J
Higher
paid




Middle pay
level

Lower
paid

E D U C A T IO N A L A N D O C C U P A T IO N A L A C H IE V E M E N T S
OF BLACK W O R K ER S, B O T H Y O U N G A N D OLD, H A VE B E EN H IG H E R
IN T H E W EST A N D N O R T H * T H A N IN T H E S O U T H

NEARLY THREE-QUARTERS OF THE YOUNG BLACK MEN IN THE WEST, AND
ONE-HALF OF THOSE IN THE NORTH HAD FINISHED FOUR YEARS OF HIGH
SCHOOL OR MORE BY 1970, COMPARED WITH JUST OVER ONE-THIRD IN
THE SOUTH . . .
Chart 7a.
PERCENT OF BLACK WORKERS WITH 4 YEARS OF HIGH SCHOOL OR MORE

Percent
100

Young men
ages 25-44

Older men
ages 45-64

75

West

North

South

West

* North is composed of N ortheast and North C entral regions.




14

North

South

TWO-THIRDS OF THE BLACK WORKERS IN THE WEST AND NORTH ARE IN
THE HIGHER OR MIDDLE PAY LEVEL OCCUPATIONS, COMPARED WITH
ONE-HALF OF THE BLACK WORKERS IN THE SOUTH.




Chart 7b.

Higher paid

> Middle pay level

> Lower paid

15

AS A R E S U L T OF W ID E R JO B C H O IC E S ,
A N D IN C R E A S E D JO B S E C U R IT Y , IN C O M E S O F
BLACK W O RKERS H A VE IN C R EA S E D . . .

THE PROPORTION OF BLACK MEN WITH OVER $10,00 0 EARNINGS*
QUADRUPLED BETWEEN 1959 AND 1969 . . . BUT WAS STILL FAR BELOW
THAT OF WHITE MEN.

Chart 8a.
PERCENT WITH EARNINGS OF $ 1 0,00 0 OR MORE IN CONSTANT DOLLARS*
Percent

40 --------------------------------------------

----------------------------------------

MEN

WOMEN

1959

1969

Black and white women lagged behind both black and white men in achieving
such earnings, despite gains during the decade.

* ln constant 1969 dollars fo r Negro and oth er races.




16

THE PERCENT WITH INCOME OF $ 1 0,00 0 OR MORE WAS MUCH LARGER IN
THE WEST AND THE NORTH THAN IN THE SOUTH FOR BOTH BLACK AND
WHITE MEN.

Chart 8b.
PERCENT OF PERSONS WITH INCOMES OF $1 0,00 0 OR MORE IN 19 69 *

Percent

MEN

WOMEN

White

However, few women earn such incomes in any region.

*D a ta fo r black m en and women refer to Negroes, only.




17

T H E IM P R O V E M E N T IN B LACK W O R K E R S ’
JO B S A N D S E C U R IT Y H A S R E D U C E D , B U T N O T E L IM IN A T E D ,
LO W E A R N E R S IN T H E LA B O R F O R C E . . .

THERE WAS A SHARP REDUCTION BETWEEN 1959 AND 1969 IN THE PERCENT
OF BLACK MEN AND BLACK WOMEN WITH EARNINGS UNDER $ 3 ,0 0 0 *.

Chart 9a

But more than half of all black women and two-fifths of all white women still had
such earnings in 1969.

' Annual earnings in constant dollars.




18

TWO-THIRDS OF THE BLACK MEN AND WOMEN WITH LESS THAN $3,000
EARNINGS IN 1970 WERE IN THE LOWER-PAID OCCUPATIONS.




Chart 9b

19

THE FUTURE
HOLDS
GREAT P R O M IS E . . .

BY 1980, A MUCH LARGER SHARE OF THE BLACK LABOR FORCE
WILL BE YOUNG . . .

Chart 10a.
PERCENT OF BLACK LABOR FORCE UNDER 35 YEARS OF AGE

Percent

100 -------------------------------------------

75

50

25 —

1960

1970

* Projection




20

1980*

. . . AND BETTER EDUCATED.

Chart 10b.
PERCENT HAVING 4 YEARS OF HIGH SCHOOL OR MORE, AGES 25-34

Percent
100

-------------------------------------------

1970

1980*

As a result, a larger proportion of black workers is expected to be in the better
paid occupations.

Projection




SOURCES OF DATA
Chart
la: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current
Population Survey, Annual Averages, 1960 and 1970.
lb : See Chart 1A.
2a: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey, May
1970.
2b: See Chart 1A.
2c: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey, Work
Experience of the Population in 1969, unpublished data.
3a: See Chart 1A and Chart 2A.
3b: See Chart 1A.
4a: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey, Educa­
tional Attainment of Workers, March 1970, unpublished data.
4b: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Current
Population Report Series P-20, Nos. 138, 182, and 207.
5a: See Chart 4B.
5b: Bureau of the Census, Current Population Reports Series
P-20, Nos. 148, 179, and 222.
6a: See Chart 1A.
6b: See Chart 1A.
7a: See Chart 4 A.
7b: See Chart 1A.
8a: Bureau of the Census, Current Population Reports, Consumer
Income, and unpublished data.
8b: See Chart 8A.
9a: See Chart 8A.
9b: See Chart 8A.
10a: Bureau of Labor Statistics, The U.S. Economy in 1980, BLS
Bulletin 1673. (1970)
10b: Johnston, Denis. “ Education of Adult Workers: Projections to
1985," Monthly Labor Review, August 1970.




U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE.1972— 0-456-707

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
WASHINGTON, D. C. 20212
O F F IC IA L . B U S IN E SS

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