Two metrics to consider for successfully closed VR consumers are 1) weekly wages and the 2) average weekly work hours. This data analysis looks at the the weekly wages for VR consumers across the country and then looks specifically at the transition age youth population. The data used for this analysis comes from the Rehabilitative Service Administration's (RSA) Case Service Report dataset, also known as RSA-911, from the years 2008 to 2014.
At most jobs, employees who work fewer hours make less money. However, compared to other occupation types, employees working in ‘Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports and Media’ occupations make more money and work fewer hours on average.
Jobs in the arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media fields pay higher wages for fewer hours each week, however VR consumers are rarely hired to work in these low-demand jobs, which often require specialized skills.
There is often more of a need to hire employees for jobs that require fewer skills. These high-demand jobs generally offer significantly lower weekly earnings for just a slightly shorter work week.
For example, in 2012, consumers placed in ‘Food Preparation and Service Related Occupations’, which include jobs such as short order cooks, restaurant servers, bartenders, and dishwashers, had average weekly earnings of $231.50, for a 27-hour work week, or $8.57/hour.
In comparison, consumers employed in 'Architecture and Engineering Occupations' earned approximately $789.00 for a 37-hour work week, which is an average of $21.32/hour.
The high-demand job (Food Prep/Service) employee works an average of 27 hours each week for $231.50/week. The low-demand job (Architecture and Engineering) employee works an average of 37 hours each week for $789.00/week.
If the low-demand jobs are the higher-wage jobs, what are the implications for VR consumers?
We see an emerging need for strategies within VR to address this gap.
Weekly wages for all occupations vary state-to-state. The maps (below) show the average of weekly earnings for VR consumers by state at employment closure from 2009-2014. Hover over each state to view average weekly earnings for VR consumers in each state. Lighter blue states have lower average weekly earnings, and darker blue states have higher average weekly earnings.
Average Weekly Earnings for Successful Closures by States
Source: RSA 911, Year 2009 to 2014
The following table looks at the weekly wages for all the major occupation types from year 2008 to 2012.
|Major Occupation Types||2008||2009||2010||2011||2012||2013||2014|
|Architecture and Engineering Occupations||761.14||783.79||746.29||786.99||801.66||762.38||803.54|
|Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media Occupations||417.81||394.51||387.04||385.66||407.08||394.55||409.43|
|Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations||322.72||316.75||322.66||308.19||316.55||322.06||324.72|
|Business and Financial Operations Occupations||665.06||619.84||625.2||647.73||654.59||665.89||676.04|
|Community and Social Services Occupations||517.85||507.85||527.1||512.63||518.75||529.99||532.12|
|Computer and Mathematical Occupations||726.24||733.95||735.33||754.54||754.56||767.38||758.44|
|Construction and Extraction Occupations||516.24||521.48||515.88||528.05||531.8||558.93||556.43|
|Education, Training, and Library Occupations||517.02||523.17||532.45||551.98||556.21||543.99||568.8|
|Farming, Fishing, and Forestry Occupations||380.49||394.91||412.79||404.64||381.56||399.91||388.57|
|Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations||250.41||254.21||259.45||262.42||263.15||262.39||263.05|
|Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations||657.93||678.7||661.75||680.49||682.28||663.77||683.85|
|Healthcare Support Occupations||383.4||385.42||376.46||378.92||398.19||380.85||386.05|
|Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations||474.16||470.43||461.03||483.08||501.61||492.49||500.65|
|Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations||645.1||629.3||614.87||612.72||653.42||610.06||660.17|
|Military Specific Occupations||468.47||492.23||476.07||496.02||480.53||468.81||497.71|
|Office and Administrative Support Occupations||387.53||387.35||386.43||392.72||395.82||407.6||415.93|
|Personal Care and Service Occupations||290.07||291.1||286.14||289.85||295.17||290.06||305.04|
|Protective Service Occupations||486.36||514.08||474.53||487.69||476.21||494.34||518.52|
|Sales and Related Occupations||394.04||378.81||380.18||378.5||387.53||385.48||402.69|
|Transportation and Material Moving Occupations||415.76||408.13||395.39||413.83||417.82||421.74||422|
There is great variation between the occupation types, yet, most of the occupation types do not see much variation on a year-to-year basis.
Weekly wages for youth VR consumers follow a similar pattern across states. The maps (below) display the average of weekly earnings for transition age youth by state at employment closure from 2009-2014. Hover over each state to view average weekly earnings for transition age youth in each state. Lighter blue states have lower average weekly earnings, and darker blue states have higher average weekly earnings.
Average Weekly Wages for Transition Age Youth across States
Source: RSA 911, Year 2009 to 2014
Weekly earning trends for youth are relatively consistent across agency types and states, but agencies serving blind consumers experienced the greatest increase in weekly earnings after 2012. This graph (below) shows the trends in weekly wages for transition age youth VR consumers in Blind, Combined, and General agencies from 2008-2014.
From 2012-2014, wages increased by 30% for youth consumers in Blind agencies.
This data analysis examines the wages and work hours for VR consumers with successful closures. Weekly wages for VR consumers vary across the U.S. due to cost of living, minimum wage, and other factors. Employees in some occupation types earn higher wages than others, regardless of weekly hours worked. This analysis provides a context for the variation between different occupation types, states, and age groups.
To address the emerging needs of the labor market broadly, VR agencies are employing innovative strategies to address the needs of their local labor markets. The Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI), along with its partners the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, Nebraska Vocational Rehabilitation Services, the Vermont Division of Vocational Rehabilitation are examining some of these innovative strategies under Vocational Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (VR-RRTC) on Demand-Side Strategies. This center has conducted a series of activities to learn how state VR agencies can meet employer needs in changing economic environments.
There is an emerging need in VR to better understand labor market information (LMI) so that VR can respond to the needs of the labor market more effectively. The Job-Driven LMI toolkit highlights some strategies that can help VR and other workforce agencies achieve their goals in effective and timely manner. This toolkit is developed under the Job-Driven Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center (JD-VRTAC) The JD-VRTAC provides technical assistance to state VR agencies around four job-driven topics of 1) building and maintaining employer relations, 2) services to employers, 3) labor market information, and 4) services to customized training providers.