Child Labor:

The Characteristics of Working Children in the United States

T-HRD-91-13: Published: Mar 19, 1991. Publicly Released: Mar 19, 1991.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

GAO discussed the characteristics of America's working children, focusing on the: (1) economic and demographic characteristics of working 15- to 17-year-old children; (2) number of children that were seriously injured while working in violation of child labor laws from fiscal year (FY) 1983 to FY 1990; and (3) Department of Labor's (DOL) penalties assessed for serious injury cases. GAO noted that: (1) about 15 percent of all 15-year-olds and 51 percent of all 16- and 17-year-olds were employed some time during 1988; (2) low-income and minority children were less likely to be employed than high-income and white children; (3) when employed, low-income children were more likely to be employed in such hazardous industries as agriculture, manufacturing, or construction, and worked more hours a week but fewer weeks a year than high-income children; (4) in 1988, about 18 percent of employed 15-year-olds worked in violation of federal child labor regulations; (5) from FY 1983 through FY 1990, DOL detected 1,475 violations associated with serious workplace injuries for working children; (6) in FY 1990 cases where it could readily identify the assessed fines, DOL assessed the maximum non-willful violation penalty against businesses employing a child who was seriously injured; and (7) DOL did not cite any of those businesses for willful violations, nor did it refer any of those cases for criminal prosecution.

Apr 4, 2016

Feb 3, 2015

Jul 25, 2013

May 16, 2013

Aug 2, 2012

Sep 30, 2011

Apr 28, 2011

Jul 29, 2010

May 24, 2010

Dec 3, 2009

Looking for more? Browse all our products here