Academic journal article Monthly Labor Review

Working Poor

Academic journal article Monthly Labor Review

Working Poor

Article excerpt

The working poor rate--the ratio of the working poor to all individuals in the labor force at least 27 weeks--was 5.6 percent in 2004, a 0.3-percentage-point increase from the prior year. Although working fulltime (35 or more hours per week) substantially lowers a person's probability of being poor, a majority (58.4 percent) of the working poor usually worked full time. Still, full-time workers were less likely than part-time workers to be considered working poor: in 2004, 3.9 percent of all persons who spent 27 or more weeks in the labor force and usually worked full time were classified as working poor, compared with 11.6 percent of usual part-time workers.

Achieving higher levels of education dramatically reduces the likelihood of being among the working poor. Individuals with higher levels of education have greater access to higher paying jobs, such as management, professional, and related occupations, than do those with lower education. …

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