SANATOGA PA – Of 6,626 Lower Pottsgrove residents who make up the township labor force, according to 2013 U.S. Census Bureau statistics, more than half of them (56 percent, or 3,710 people) are likely to be hourly workers and, of those, about 32 percent (1,187 people) probably earn less than $10 hourly, a new report indicates.
The local figures are derived from information in a Census brief now being promoted by University of Virginia demographics researchers who created it. The brief, published July 21 (2014) and simply titled “Low-Wage Employment,” cites the percentages as national estimates and concludes that, across the country, more than 21 million people fall into the low-wage category.
The document is what the university describes as its fourth in “a series of short publications depicting trends in census and other data pertinent to contemporary debate.” It in part is a response to some federal politicians’ latest calls to raise the minimum wage.
Researchers also report that:
- One-half of low-wage earners work more than 35 hours weekly. Using that estimate for a local calculation, that group could include 593 Lower Pottsgrove residents;
- Almost half work in retail or food service jobs;
- Four of 5 lack any type of college or technical degree, which could include 949 township residents;
- Fifty-six percent are between the ages of 26 and 64;
- Almost 6 of 10 are women; and
- One in 4 are parents living with young or school-aged children.
During 2013, Lower Pottsgrove served as hometown for more than 12,200 people, Census-based reports show.
Photo from the University of Virginia