Economic News Release

A Profile of the Working Poor, 1996


A Profile of the Working Poor, 1996
U.S. Department of Labor
Bureau of Labor Statistics
December 1997
Report 918
     In 1996, 36.5 million persons, 13.7 percent of the population, lived
at or below the official poverty level.  Although the Nation’s poor were
primarily children and adults who were not in the labor force, 1 in 5, or
7.4 million persons were classified as “working poor.”  This level was
about the same as in 1995.  The working poor are individuals who spent at
least 27 weeks in the labor force (working or looking for work), but whose
income fell below the official poverty threshold.  The poverty rate—the
ratio of the working poor to all persons in the labor force for at least 27
weeks—was 5.8 percent, little changed from the 5.9 percent reported in
1995.  (See table A.)
     
     A majority of the working poor (58 percent) usually worked full time,
although full-time work substantially lowers a person’s probability of
being poor.  Among persons in the labor force for 27 weeks or more, the
poverty rate for those usually employed full time was 4.1 percent compared
with 12.4 percent for usual part-time workers. Only 5 percent of the
working poor were actively looking for a job for more than 6 months in
1996, but ended up not working at all.  (See table 1.)
Table A. Poverty status of persons and primary families in the
labor force for 27 weeks or more, 1994-96
(Number in thousands)
———————————————————————————————-
      Characteristic         |  1994   |   1995   |   1996
———————————————————————————————-
Total persons 1/.............| 124,303 |  126,020 |  128,320
  In poverty.................|   7,660 |    7,484 |    7,421
  Poverty rate...............|     6.2 |      5.9 |      5.8
Unrelated individuals........|  23,622 |   24,207 |   25,539
  In poverty.................|   2,322 |    2,312 |    2,423
  Poverty rate...............|     9.8 |      9.5 |      9.5
Primary families 2/..........|  56,789 |   57,262 |   58,087
  In poverty.................|   4,111 |    4,008 |    4,084
  Poverty rate...............|     7.2 |      7.0 |      7.0
———————————————————————————————-
1 Includes persons in families, not shown separately
2 Primary families with at least one member in the labor force
for more than half of the year
     This report presents data on the relationships between labor force
activity and poverty in 1996 for individual workers and their families.
The data were collected in the March 1997 supplement to the Current
Population Survey, a nationwide monthly survey of about 50,000 households
conducted by the Bureau of the Census for the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
For a detailed description of the source of the data and an explanation of
the concepts and definitions used in this report see the Technical Note.
     
Demographic characteristics
     
     Of all persons in the labor force for at least 27 weeks during 1996,
slightly more women than men were poor (3.8 and 3.6 million, respectively).
The poverty rate was much higher for working women, however, as fewer of
them were in the labor force for more than half of the year. Specifically,
the proportion of working women living in poverty during the year (6.5
percent) remained relatively unchanged from 1995, while that for men fell
by 0.4 percentage point to 5.2 percent.  (See table 2.)
     
     Although nearly three-fourths of the working poor were white workers,
black and Hispanic workers continued to experience poverty rates that were
more than twice the rates of whites.  White working women and men in the
labor force for more than half of the year were about equally likely to be
poor.  By contrast, black working women had a poverty rate of 14.2
percent—almost twice the rate of black working men (8.6 percent).  As in
earlier years, younger workers were most vulnerable to being poor,
particularly minority teenagers.  High poverty rates among younger workers
largely reflect the lower earnings and higher rates of unemployment
associated with having relatively little education and work experience.
Educational attainment
     
     In general, the risk of living in poverty falls rapidly as individuals
attain higher educational levels. Out of all persons in the labor force for
at least half of 1996, those with less than a high school diploma had a
higher poverty rate (16.2 percent) than high school graduates (6.3
percent).  Workers with an associate degree or 4-year college degree
reported the lowest poverty rates, 3.2 and 1.5 percent, respectively.
Poverty rates generally are higher for black workers than for white workers
at both higher and lower education levels.  (See table 3.)
     
     Poverty rates of white men and women were fairly similar at all
educational levels; however, among black men and women, there were marked
disparities, especially at lower education levels.  The poverty rate for
black women workers with less than a high school diploma was 30.6 percent
compared to 18.1 percent for black men.  Moreover, among high school
graduates, the poverty rate of black women (18.0 percent) was almost twice
that of black men (9.3 percent).  Among college graduates, these
differences disappear.
      
Occupation
     
     During 1996, nearly three-fourths of the working poor were employed in
one of the following three occupational groups: service; technical, sales,
and administrative support; or operators, fabricators, and laborers.  (See
table B.)  Persons employed in managerial and professional specialty
occupations had the lowest probability of being poor. In all occupational
groups, women are generally more likely than men to be poor, and blacks are
more likely to be below the poverty level than whites.  (See table 4.)
Table B.  Persons in the labor force for 27 weeks or more who worked
during the year: Poverty status by occupation of longest job held, 1996
(Numbers in thousands)
————————————————————————————————————
         Occupation             |   Persons  |  Total below  | Poverty
                                | who worked | poverty level |  rate
————————————————————————————————————
Total who worked................|  127,486   |     7,037     |   5.5
  Percent.......................|    100.0   |     100.0     | 
Service occupations.............|     13.4   |      29.9     |  12.3
Technical, sales, and           |            |               |
 administrative support.........|     29.4   |      23.0     |   4.3
Operators, fabricators, and     |            |               |
 laborers.......................|     14.5   |      20.6     |   7.8
Other occupations...............|     42.7   |      26.5     |   3.4
————————————————————————————————————
     The poverty rate for those employed in service occupations was 12.3
percent.  Female service workers had a higher poverty rate than did their
male counterparts.  Household service workers (i.e., housekeepers, child-
care workers, and cooks), almost all of whom were women, had a poverty rate
of 21.8 percent.  Protective service providers, such as firefighters,
policeman, and guards, two-thirds of whom were men, reported a poverty rate
of only 3.6 percent.  The poverty rate among service providers other than
private household or protective—which includes bartenders, waiters and
waitresses, dental assistants, janitors, and hairdressers—was 13.2 percent.
Although the number of white service providers living in poverty was more
than twice that of blacks, the overall poverty rate for black service
providers was 6.6 percentage points higher than that for whites (17.7
versus 11.1 percent).
     
     The number of women employed in technical, sales, and administrative
support occupations was nearly twice that of men.  This was due largely to
the fact that women outnumbered men by over 3 to 1 in administrative
support occupations.  In technical and sales occupations, the proportion of
working men and women was relatively equal.  The poverty rates for women
and men employed in administrative support occupations were about the same
at 3.2 and 3.1 percent, respectively; similarly, there were no marked
disparities between the rates for working women and men in technical
occupations (2.5 versus 1.8 percent).  However, the poverty rate for women
employed in sales occupations was nearly two and a half times more than
their male counterparts, largely because women tend to hold very different
types of sales jobs than men.  In fact, the earnings difference between men
and women in sales is larger than it is in any other major occupational
group.
            
     Approximately 8 percent of operators, fabricators, and laborers in the
labor force for 27 weeks or more were poor.  Although the total number of
men in these occupations outnumbered women by 3 to 1, the poverty rate for
women was 3 percentage points higher (10.1 versus 7.1 percent).  Similarly,
while three-fourths of the working poor in these occupations were white,
their poverty rate was 4.5 percentage points lower than that for blacks
(7.1 versus 11.6 percent).
     
     Workers in managerial and professional specialty occupations reported
the lowest rate of poverty (1.6 percent). About 580,000 out of the 36.7
million persons employed in managerial and professional specialty
occupations had incomes below the poverty level.  Of those, 302,000 were in
professional specialty occupations, such as engineers, architects,
scientists, and teachers.  Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten teachers had a
particularly high poverty rate (7.9 percent) among professional workers.
Family structure
     
     In 1996, nearly 4.1 million families lived below the poverty level
despite having at least one member in the labor market for 27 weeks or
more, little changed from the 1995 total.  Of these, nearly half were
families maintained by women.  The poverty rate for families—the ratio of
poor families with workers to all families with workers—was 7.0 percent in
1996, the same as that reported in 1995.  (See table 6.)
     
     The poverty rate for families with just one member in the labor force
was over seven times more than that of families with two or more members in
the workforce (14.6 versus 1.9 percent).  Families maintained by women with
only one member in the labor force were nearly two times more likely to be
poor than were such families maintained by men.  Married-couple families
with two or more members in the labor force had the lowest poverty rate
(1.6 percent).
     
     The poverty rate was even higher in families with children.  The
poverty rate for families with children under age 18 that were maintained
by a woman, who was the sole supporter, was 26.6 percent in 1996.
Similarly, families maintained by men had a 13.7-percent poverty rate.
Married-couple families with children had a poverty rate of only 6.0
percent, similar to the 1995 rate.
     
     Working women who were the sole supporters of their families had the
highest poverty rate in 1996 (20.2 percent), more than twice the rate for
their male counterparts (9.4 percent).  Workers in married-couple families
were the least likely to be poor; in fact, working wives reported the
lowest rate of poverty, 1.9 percent in 1996.  Working husbands had a rate
of 3.9 percent.  (See table 5.)
     
Unrelated individuals
     
     In 1996, 25.5 million unrelated individuals were in the labor force
for more than half the year; of those, 2.4 million lived below the poverty
level.  Unrelated individuals are those persons who live by themselves or
with others not related to them.  Their poverty rate was 9.5 percent in
1996, the same as in 1995.  (See table 7.)
     
     Teenagers were most vulnerable to being poor; in 1996, more than half
of the teenagers living on their own or with others not related to them
lived below the poverty level.  The poverty rate was higher for women than
for men (10.7 versus 8.5 percent).  The number of white unrelated
individuals living in poverty far exceeded the number of blacks or
Hispanics; however, the poverty rates for the latter two groups were 12.4
and 18.0 percent, respectively, compared with only 9.1 percent for whites.
     
     Of the 2.4 million unrelated individuals who lived below the poverty
level, 67.1 percent lived with others.  These individuals reported a
poverty rate more than twice that of individuals who lived alone.  Many
unrelated individuals with below poverty earnings may live with others out
of necessity.  Conversely, many of those who live alone do so because they
have sufficient incomes to support themselves.  However, unrelated
individuals’ poverty status is determined by each person’s resources.  The
pooling of resources and sharing of expenses may allow some individuals in
this category who are technically classified as poor to live above the
poverty level.
Labor market problems
     
     Three primary labor market problems frequently experienced by workers
whose incomes fall below the poverty threshold are:  Unemployment, low
earnings, and involuntary part-time employment.  (See definitions in the
Technical Note.)  Among those who participated in the labor force for more
than half the year and usually worked in full-time wage and salary
positions, 3.9 million, or 3.9 percent, lived in poverty in 1996, little
changed from the prior year.  (See table 8.)  This analysis is restricted
to full-time wage and salary workers.
     
     Nearly 90 percent of the working poor that usually worked full time
experienced at least one of the major labor market problems in 1996.  Low
earnings continued to be the most common problem; 7 in 10 poor workers were
subject to low earnings alone, or in combination with other labor market
problems.  Nearly 40 percent of the working poor experienced unemployment,
either alone or in combination with other problems.  Only 6.2 percent of
the working poor experienced all three problems—low earnings, unemployment
and involuntary part-time work.
     
     Some 488,000 of these working poor, or 12.5 percent, did not
experience any of the three labor market problems in 1996.  Their poverty
status may be associated with other factors, including short-term
employment, some weeks of voluntary part-time work, or a family structure
that increases the risk of poverty.
———————————————————-
Samantha Quan, an economist in the Division of Labor Force Statistics,
Bureau of Labor Statistics, prepared this report.
                                  
                               Technical Note
Source of data
     The primary source of data in this report is the work experience and
income supplement (called the Annual Demographic Survey) to the March 1997
Current Population Survey (CPS).  The CPS is a monthly survey of about
50,000 households conducted by the Bureau of the Census for the Bureau of
Labor Statistics to collect demographic, social, and economic information
about working-age persons.  The work experience and income information
collected in the March supplement refers to activity in the entire prior
calendar year.
     Because the estimates are based on a sample, they may differ from the
figures that would have been obtained from a complete census using the same
questionnaire and procedures.  Sampling variability may be relatively large
in cases where the numbers are small.  Thus, small estimates, or small
differences between estimates, should be interpreted with caution.  For a
detailed explanation of the March supplement to the Current Population
Survey, its sampling variability, and more complete definitions than those
provided below, see Poverty in the United States:  1996, Current Population
Reports, Series P-60, No. 198 (Bureau of the Census, September, 1997).
This publication also is available on the Bureau of the Census web site
(http://www.census.gov).
     
     Information in this report will be made available to sensory impaired
individuals upon request.  Voice phone:  (202) 606-7828; TDD phone:
(202)606-5897; TDD message referral phone:  1-800-326-2577.  This material
is in the public domain and, with appropriate credit, may be reproduced
without permission.
     
     For more information on the data provided in this release, write to
the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Division of Labor Force Statistics, Room
4675, 2 Massachusetts Avenue, NE., Washington, DC  20212, e-mail:
cpsinfo@bls.gov or telephone (202) 606-6378.
     
Concepts and definitions
     
     Poverty classification.  Poverty statistics presented in this report
are based on definitions developed by the Social Security Administration in
1964 and revised by Federal interagency committees in 1969 and 1981.  These
definitions were originally based on the Department of Agriculture’s
Economy Food Plan and reflected the different consumption requirements of
families based on factors such as family size and the number of children
under 18 years of age.
     
     The actual poverty thresholds vary in accordance with the makeup of
the family.  In 1996, the average poverty threshold for a family of four
was $16,036; for a family of nine persons or more, the threshold was
$31,971; and for an unrelated individual aged 65 and over, it was $7,525.
The poverty thresholds are updated each year to reflect changes in the
Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U).  For more
information, see Poverty in the United States:  1996, cited above.
     
     Low earnings.  The low earnings level, as first developed in 1987,
represented the average of the real value of the minimum wage between 1967
and 1987 for a 40-hour week.  The base year of 1967 was chosen because that
was the first year in which minimum-wage legislation covered essentially
the same broad group of workers who are currently covered.  The low
earnings level has subsequently been adjusted each year using the CPI-U so
that the measure maintains the same real value it held in 1987.  In 1996,
the low earnings threshold was $230.93 per week.  For a more complete
definition, see Bruce W. Klein and Philip L. Rones, "A Profile of the
Working Poor," Monthly Labor Review, October 1989, pp. 3-13.
     
     Income.  Data on income are limited to money income received in the
calendar year preceding the March survey date before personal income taxes
and payroll deductions.  It does not include the value of noncash benefits
such as food stamps, medicare, medicaid, public housing, and employer-
provided fringe benefits.  For a complete definition of the income concept,
see Poverty in the United States:  1996, cited above.
     
     In the labor force.  Persons in the labor force are those who worked
or looked for work sometime during the calendar year preceding the March
survey date.  The number of weeks in the labor force is accumulated over
the entire year.  The focus in this report is on persons in the labor force
for 27 weeks or more.
     
     Involuntary part-time workers.  These are persons who, in at least 1
week of the year, worked fewer than 35 hours because of slack work or
business conditions, or because they could not find full-time work.  The
number of weeks of involuntary part-time work is accumulated over the year.
     
     Occupation.  Refers to the occupation in which a person worked the
most weeks during the calendar year.
     
     Unemployed.  Unemployed persons are those who looked for work while
not employed or those who were on layoff from a job and expecting recall.
The number of weeks unemployed is accumulated over the entire year.
     
     Family.  A family is defined as a group of two or more persons
residing together who are related by birth, marriage, or adoption.  Persons
in related subfamilies—married couples, or parent-child groups sharing the
living quarters of another family member—are included as members of that
family and are not distinct family units.  The count of families used in
this report does not include unrelated subfamilies, such as lodgers,
guests, or resident employees living in a household but not related to the
householder (the person in whose name the housing unit is owned or rented).
Families are classified either as married-couple families or as those
maintained by men or women without spouses present.  Family status is
determined at the time of the March interview and thus may be different
from that of the previous year.
     
     Unrelated individuals.  These are persons who are not living with any
relatives.  Such individuals may be living alone, reside in a non-related
family household, or live in group quarters with other unrelated
individuals.
     
     Related children.  Data on related children refer to own children
(including sons, daughters, and step or adopted children) of the husband,
wife, or person maintaining the family and all other children related to
the householder by blood, marriage, or adoption.
     
     Race.  White, black, and other are terms used to describe the race of
workers.  Included in the “other” group are American Indians, Alaskan
Natives, and Asians and Pacific Islanders;  because of their relatively
small sample size, data for this group are not separately tabulated or
published.
     
     Hispanic origin.  This term refers to persons who identify themselves
in the CPS enumeration process as Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or
South American, or of some other Hispanic origin or descent.  Persons of
Hispanic origin may be of any race; thus, they also are included in both
the white and black population groups.
     Table 1.  Persons in the labor force: Poverty status and work experience by weeks in the labor force, 1996
     (Numbers in thousands)
     ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
                                                               |                     |                                           
                                                               |                     |    27 weeks or more in the labor force    
                                                                                      ___________________________________________
                 Poverty status and work experience            |  Total in the labor |                                           
                                                               |        force        |                     |                     
                                                               |                     |        Total        |    50 to 52 weeks   
     ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
                                                               |                     |                     |                     
                                                                                                                                 
                               TOTAL                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                 
       Total in labor force....................................        143,708               128,320               113,985       
         Did not work during the year..........................          2,329                   834                   708       
         Worked during the year................................        141,379               127,486               113,277       
           Usual full-time workers.............................        111,512               105,697                97,448       
           Usual part-time workers.............................         29,868                21,789                15,829       
             Involuntary part-time workers.....................          5,303                 4,227                 3,410       
             Voluntary part-time workers.......................         24,565                17,562                12,419       
                                                                                                                                 
                     At or above poverty level                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                 
       Total in labor force....................................        133,090               120,899               108,170       
         Did not work during the year..........................          1,273                   450                   370       
         Worked during the year................................        131,818               120,449               107,801       
           Usual full-time workers.............................        105,922               101,363                93,928       
           Usual part-time workers.............................         25,895                19,086                13,873       
             Involuntary part-time workers.....................          3,896                 3,174                 2,565       
             Voluntary part-time workers.......................         21,999                15,912                11,308       
                                                                                                                                 
                        Below poverty level                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                 
       Total in labor force....................................         10,618                 7,421                 5,815       
         Did not work during the year..........................          1,056                   384                   338       
         Worked during the year................................          9,562                 7,037                 5,476       
           Usual full-time workers.............................          5,589                 4,334                 3,520       
           Usual part-time workers.............................          3,972                 2,703                 1,956       
             Involuntary part-time workers.....................          1,406                 1,053                   846       
             Voluntary part-time workers.......................          2,566                 1,650                 1,111       
                                                                                                                                 
                          Poverty rate(1)                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                 
       Total in labor force....................................            7.4                   5.8                   5.1        
         Did not work during the year..........................           45.3                  46.0                  47.8        
         Worked during the year................................            6.8                   5.5                   4.8        
           Usual full-time workers.............................            5.0                   4.1                   3.6        
           Usual part-time workers.............................           13.3                  12.4                  12.4        
             Involuntary part-time workers.....................           26.5                  24.9                  24.8        
             Voluntary part-time workers.......................           10.4                   9.4                   8.9        
     ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
                                                                                                                                 
       1 Number below the poverty level as a percent of the total in the labor force.
         NOTE: Data refer to persons 16 years and over.  Data for 1996, which were collected in the March 1997 supplement to the
     Current Population Survey (CPS), are not strictly comparable with data for 1995 and earlier years because of the
     introduction in January 1997 of revised population controls used in the survey.  For additional information, see "Revisions
     in the Current Population Survey Effective January 1997" in the February 1997 issue of Employment and Earnings.
     Table 2.  Persons in the labor force for 27 weeks or more: Poverty status by age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin, 1996
     (Numbers in thousands)
     ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
                                     |       |       |      |        |                             |                             
                                     |       |       |      |        |     Below poverty level     |       Poverty rate(1)       
                                                                      ___________________________________________________________
                                     |       |       |      |Hispanic|                             |                             
               Age and sex           | Total | White | Black| origin |      |      |      |        |      |      |      |        
                                     |       |       |      |        | Total| White| Black|Hispanic| Total| White| Black|Hispanic
                                     |       |       |      |        |      |      |      | origin |      |      |      | origin 
     ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
                                     |       |       |      |        |      |      |      |        |      |      |      |        
                                                                                                                                 
         Total, 16 years and older... 128,320 108,431 14,225   12,433  7,421  5,432  1,647    1,788    5.8    5.0   11.6    14.4 
     16 to 19 years..................   4,881   4,169    583      538    581    428    134      125   11.9   10.3   23.0    23.2 
     20 to 24 years..................  11,892   9,853  1,497    1,642  1,448  1,060    334      294   12.2   10.8   22.3    17.9 
     25 to 34 years..................  32,166  26,557  3,955    4,081  2,180  1,588    512      597    6.8    6.0   13.0    14.6 
     35 to 44 years..................  35,954  30,153  4,179    3,295  1,865  1,335    407      494    5.2    4.4    9.7    15.0 
     45 to 54 years..................  26,825  23,083  2,658    1,803    910    681    187      189    3.4    2.9    7.0    10.5 
     55 to 64 years..................  12,729  11,145  1,093      894    377    296     62       77    3.0    2.7    5.7     8.6 
     65 years and older..............   3,873   3,471    260      180     61     44     10       12    1.6    1.3    3.8     6.5 
                                                                                                                                 
         Men, 16 years and older.....  69,626  59,921  6,649    7,596  3,633  2,855    574    1,121    5.2    4.8    8.6    14.8 
     16 to 19 years..................   2,483   2,157    266      331    243    184     53       72    9.8    8.5   20.0    21.6 
     20 to 24 years..................   6,304   5,388    641    1,072    642    512    102      188   10.2    9.5   15.9    17.6 
     25 to 34 years..................  17,823  14,977  1,903    2,571  1,090    879    166      386    6.1    5.9    8.7    15.0 
     35 to 44 years..................  19,515  16,675  1,969    1,958    958    726    150      316    4.9    4.4    7.6    16.2 
     45 to 54 years..................  14,277  12,488  1,249    1,045    453    357     68      104    3.2    2.9    5.4     9.9 
     55 to 64 years..................   6,988   6,211    497      507    210    172     29       49    3.0    2.8    5.8     9.6 
     65 years and older..............   2,236   2,025    124      112     38     24      7        6    1.7    1.2    5.3     5.3 
                                                                                                                                 
         Women, 16 years and older...  58,694  48,510  7,576    4,836  3,788  2,577  1,073      667    6.5    5.3   14.2    13.8 
     16 to 19 years..................   2,398   2,012    317      206    338    244     81       53   14.1   12.1   25.5    25.8 
     20 to 24 years..................   5,588   4,466    856      570    806    548    232      106   14.4   12.3   27.1    18.6 
     25 to 34 years..................  14,344  11,580  2,052    1,510  1,090    709    347      211    7.6    6.1   16.9    14.0 
     35 to 44 years..................  16,439  13,478  2,210    1,337    907    609    257      177    5.5    4.5   11.6    13.2 
     45 to 54 years..................  12,548  10,595  1,410      758    456    323    120       86    3.6    3.1    8.5    11.3 
     55 to 64 years..................   5,740   4,934    596      386    167    124     33       28    2.9    2.5    5.6     7.2 
     65 years and older..............   1,637   1,445    136       68     23     20      3        6    1.4    1.4    2.3    (2)  
     ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
                                                                                                                                 
       1 Number below the poverty level as a percent of the total in the labor force for 27 weeks or more.
       2 Data not shown where base is less than 75,000.
         NOTE: Detail for race and Hispanic-origin groups will not sum to totals because data for the "other races" group are not
     presented and Hispanics are included in both the white and black population groups.  Data for 1996, which were collected in
     the March 1997 supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS), are not strictly comparable with data for 1995 and earlier
     years because of the introduction in January 1997 of revised population controls used in the survey.  For additional
     information, see "Revisions in the Current Population Survey Effective January 1997" in the February 1997 issue of
     Employment and Earnings.
     Table 3.  Persons in the labor force for 27 weeks or more: Poverty status by educational attainment, race, and sex, 1996
     (Numbers in thousands)
     ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
                                                       |        |        |        |                          |                          
                                                       |        |        |        |    Below poverty level   |      Poverty rate(1)     
                                                                                   _____________________________________________________
              Educational attainment and race          |  Total |   Men  |  Women |                          |                          
                                                       |        |        |        |        |        |        |        |        |        
                                                       |        |        |        |  Total |   Men  |  Women |  Total |   Men  |  Women 
     ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
                                                       |        |        |        |        |        |        |        |        |        
                                                                                                                                        
         Total, 16 years and older.....................  128,320   69,626   58,694    7,421    3,633    3,788     5.8      5.2      6.5 
     Less than a high school diploma...................   16,498   10,356    6,142    2,665    1,527    1,137    16.2     14.7     18.5 
       Less than 1 year of high school.................    4,765    3,262    1,503      950      656      294    19.9     20.1     19.6 
       1-3 years of high school........................   10,165    6,099    4,067    1,507      742      765    14.8     12.2     18.8 
       4 years of high school, no diploma..............    1,568      996      573      208      129       79    13.3     13.0     13.8 
     High school graduates, no college.................   42,355   22,576   19,779    2,672    1,152    1,521     6.3      5.1      7.7 
     Some college, no degree...........................   25,936   13,528   12,408    1,254      531      723     4.8      3.9      5.8 
     Associate degree..................................   10,301    4,863    5,438      332      162      170     3.2      3.3      3.1 
     College graduates.................................   33,229   18,303   14,927      498      262      236     1.5      1.4      1.6 
                                                                                                                                        
         White, 16 years and older.....................  108,431   59,921   48,510    5,432    2,855    2,577     5.0      4.8      5.3 
     Less than a high school diploma...................   13,529    8,727    4,801    2,018    1,230      788    14.9     14.1     16.4 
       Less than 1 year of high school.................    4,017    2,804    1,212      848      596      253    21.1     21.2     20.9 
       1-3 years of high school........................    8,303    5,109    3,195    1,027      537      489    12.4     10.5     15.3 
       4 years of high school, no diploma..............    1,209      814      394      143       98       46    11.9     12.0     11.6 
     High school graduates, no college.................   35,451   19,183   16,268    1,801      833      968     5.1      4.3      5.9 
     Some college, no degree...........................   21,720   11,591   10,129      941      436      505     4.3      3.8      5.0 
     Associate degree..................................    8,818    4,298    4,520      273      142      131     3.1      3.3      2.9 
     College graduates.................................   28,913   16,121   12,792      398      213      185     1.4      1.3      1.5 
                                                                                                                                        
         Black, 16 years and older.....................   14,225    6,649    7,576    1,647      574    1,073    11.6      8.6     14.2 
     Less than a high school diploma...................    2,282    1,240    1,042      543      225      318    23.8     18.1     30.6 
       Less than 1 year of high school.................      450      298      152       62       32       30    13.8     10.8     19.8 
       1-3 years of high school........................    1,528      792      737      424      168      256    27.7     21.2     34.7 
       4 years of high school, no diploma..............      303      150      153       57       25       33    18.9     16.3     21.4 
     High school graduates, no college.................    5,436    2,643    2,793      748      246      503    13.8      9.3     18.0 
     Some college, no degree...........................    3,319    1,467    1,852      255       70      185     7.7      4.8     10.0 
     Associate degree..................................    1,062      384      678       50       12       38     4.7      3.1      5.6 
     College graduates.................................    2,126      915    1,211       50       21       29     2.4      2.3      2.4 
     ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
                                                                                                                                        
       1 Number below the poverty level as a percent of the total in the labor force for 27 weeks or more.
         NOTE:   Data for 1996, which were collected in the March 1997 supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS), are not
     strictly comparable with data for 1995 and earlier years because of the introduction in January 1997 of revised population controls
     used in the survey.  For additional information, see "Revisions in the Current Population Survey Effective January 1997" in the
     February 1997 issue of Employment and Earnings.
     Table 4.  Persons in the labor force for 27 weeks or more who worked during the year: Poverty status by occupation of the longest
     job held, race, and sex, 1996
     (Numbers in thousands)
     ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
                                                       |        |        |        |                          |                          
                                                       |        |        |        |    Below poverty level   |      Poverty rate(1)     
                                                                                   _____________________________________________________
                    Occupation and race                |  Total |   Men  |  Women |                          |                          
                                                       |        |        |        |        |        |        |        |        |        
                                                       |        |        |        |  Total |   Men  |  Women |  Total |   Men  |  Women 
     ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
                                                       |        |        |        |        |        |        |        |        |        
                                                                                                                                        
         Total, 16 years and older(2)..................  127,486   69,177   58,308    7,037    3,440    3,597     5.5      5.0      6.2 
                                                                                                                                        
     Managerial and professional specialty.............   36,656   18,662   17,994      580      268      312     1.6      1.4      1.7 
       Executive, administrative, and managerial.......   18,216   10,104    8,113      278      172      106     1.5      1.7      1.3 
       Professional specialty..........................   18,440    8,559    9,881      302       96      206     1.6      1.1      2.1 
     Technical, sales, and administrative support......   37,543   13,565   23,978    1,616      433    1,183     4.3      3.2      4.9 
       Technicians and related support.................    4,176    1,943    2,233       90       35       55     2.1      1.8      2.5 
       Sales occupations...............................   15,502    7,745    7,757      960      276      684     6.2      3.6      8.8 
       Administrative support, including clerical......   17,865    3,878   13,987      566      122      444     3.2      3.1      3.2 
     Service occupations...............................   17,120    7,093   10,027    2,104      601    1,503    12.3      8.5     15.0 
       Private household...............................      642       17      625      140        2      138    21.8     (3)      22.1 
       Protective service..............................    2,238    1,830      409       80       55       25     3.6      3.0      6.2 
       Service, except private household and protective   14,240    5,246    8,993    1,883      544    1,340    13.2     10.4     14.9 
     Precision production, craft, and repair...........   14,375   13,181    1,194      797      729       68     5.5      5.5      5.7 
     Operators, fabricators, and laborers..............   18,498   13,909    4,590    1,447      982      465     7.8      7.1     10.1 
       Machine operators, assemblers, and inspectors...    8,156    5,034    3,122      621      335      287     7.6      6.6      9.2 
       Transportation and material moving occupations..    5,412    4,902      510      318      273       46     5.9      5.6      9.0 
       Handlers, equipment cleaners, helpers, and                                                                                       
        laborers.......................................    4,931    3,973      958      507      374      133    10.3      9.4     13.8 
     Farming, forestry, and fishing....................    3,180    2,664      516      484      418       66    15.2     15.7     12.7 
                                                                                                                                        
           White, 16 years and older(2)................  107,893   59,631   48,262    5,203    2,739    2,464     4.8      4.6      5.1 
                                                                                                                                        
     Managerial and professional specialty.............   32,329   16,696   15,633      431      207      224     1.3      1.2      1.4 
       Executive, administrative, and managerial.......   16,280    9,210    7,071      225      142       83     1.4      1.5      1.2 
       Professional specialty..........................   16,049    7,487    8,562      206       64      141     1.3      0.9      1.6 
     Technical, sales, and administrative support......   31,838   11,741   20,096    1,134      339      795     3.6      2.9      4.0 
       Technicians and related support.................    3,523    1,683    1,840       74       35       39     2.1      2.1      2.1 
       Sales occupations...............................   13,509    6,971    6,538      671      228      443     5.0      3.3      6.8 
       Administrative support, including clerical......   14,806    3,087   11,719      389       77      312     2.6      2.5      2.7 
     Service occupations...............................   13,219    5,533    7,686    1,466      438    1,029    11.1      7.9     13.4 
       Private household...............................      514       15      500      117        2      115    22.8     (3)      23.1 
       Protective service..............................    1,756    1,494      262       45       36        9     2.6      2.4      3.4 
       Service, except private household and protective   10,948    4,024    6,924    1,304      400      905    11.9      9.9     13.1 
     Precision production, craft, and repair...........   12,682   11,722      960      676      633       43     5.3      5.4      4.5 
     Operators, fabricators, and laborers..............   14,801   11,410    3,391    1,055      736      319     7.1      6.5      9.4 
       Machine operators, assemblers, and inspectors...    6,408    4,167    2,241      474      265      209     7.4      6.4      9.3 
       Transportation and material moving occupations..    4,493    4,096      397      233      215       19     5.2      5.2      4.7 
       Handlers, equipment cleaners, helpers, and                                                                                       
        laborers.......................................    3,900    3,147      753      348      257       91     8.9      8.2     12.1 
     Farming, forestry, and fishing....................    2,935    2,448      487      430      375       55    14.6     15.3     11.2 
                                                                                                                                        
           Black, 16 years and older(2)................   13,967    6,515    7,452    1,509      506    1,002    10.8      7.8     13.5 
                                                                                                                                        
     Managerial and professional specialty.............    2,518      957    1,561       99       26       73     3.9      2.7      4.7 
       Executive, administrative, and managerial.......    1,155      499      656       21        8       14     1.8      1.5      2.1 
       Professional specialty..........................    1,363      459      905       78       18       60     5.7      3.9      6.6 
     Technical, sales, and administrative support......    4,066    1,156    2,910      406       68      339    10.0      5.9     11.6 
       Technicians and related support.................      413      156      257       15     -          15     3.6      -        5.8 
       Sales occupations...............................    1,274      430      844      241       33      208    18.9      7.8     24.6 
       Administrative support, including clerical......    2,379      570    1,810      150       34      116     6.3      6.0      6.4 
     Service occupations...............................    3,082    1,173    1,909      547      119      427    17.7     10.2     22.4 
       Private household...............................      109        2      107       18     -          18    16.6      -       16.8 
       Protective service..............................      397      278      119       26       10       16     6.7      3.7     13.6 
       Service, except private household and protective    2,576      893    1,682      502      109      393    19.5     12.2     23.4 
     Precision production, craft, and repair...........    1,240    1,078      162       93       69       23     7.5      6.4     14.3 
     Operators, fabricators, and laborers..............    2,901    2,008      892      336      201      135    11.6     10.0     15.1 
       Machine operators, assemblers, and inspectors...    1,289      647      642      118       45       73     9.1      6.9     11.3 
       Transportation and material moving occupations..      794      695       99       78       52       25     9.8      7.6     25.4 
       Handlers, equipment cleaners, helpers, and                                                                                       
        laborers.......................................      818      667      151      140      104       37    17.2     15.5     24.5 
     Farming, forestry, and fishing....................      144      126       18       28       23        4    19.2     18.5     (3)  
     ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
                                                                                                                                        
       1 Number below the poverty level as a percent of the total in the labor force for 27 weeks or more who worked during the year.
       2 Includes a small number of persons whose last job was in the Armed Forces.
       3 Data not shown where base is less than 75,000.
         NOTE:   Data for 1996, which were collected in the March 1997 supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS), are not
     strictly comparable with data for 1995 and earlier years because of the introduction in January 1997 of revised population controls
     used in the survey.  For additional information, see "Revisions in the Current Population Survey Effective January 1997" in the
     February 1997 issue of Employment and Earnings.  Dash represents or rounds to zero.
     Table 5.  Persons in families and unrelated individuals: Poverty status and work experience, 1996
     (Numbers in thousands)
     _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
                                 |       |                                 |                        |                        |        
                                 |       |    In married-couple families   | In families maintained | In families maintained |        
                                 |       |                                 |        by women        |         by men         |  Unre- 
                                          ___________________________________________________________________________________         
       Poverty status and work   | Total |                                 |                        |                        |  lated 
              experience         |persons|        |      |        |        |      |        |        |      |        |        |  indi- 
                                 |       |  Hus-  |      | Related|  Other |House-| Related|  Other |House-| Related|  Other | viduals
                                 |       |  bands | Wives|children|relativ-|holder|children|relativ-|holder|children|  rela- |        
                                 |       |        |      |under 18|   es   |      |under 18|   es   |      |under 18|  tives |        
     _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
                                 |       |        |      |        |        |      |        |        |      |        |        |        
                                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                      
                TOTAL                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                      
           All persons........... 202,515   52,925 53,552    5,152   17,229 12,771    1,901    9,567  3,820      379    3,848   41,371
       With labor force activity. 143,708   42,579 35,518    2,492   12,796  9,187      803    6,495  3,104      195    2,723   27,818
         1 to 26 weeks...........  15,388    1,596  3,895    1,482    2,993    952      492    1,046    169      108      376    2,279
         27 weeks or more........ 128,320   40,982 31,622    1,010    9,803  8,235      311    5,449  2,934       87    2,347   25,539
       With no labor force                                                                                                            
          activity...............  58,807   10,347 18,034    2,660    4,433  3,584    1,097    3,073    716      185    1,125   13,553
                                                                                                                                      
      At or above poverty level                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                      
           All persons........... 179,095   49,958 50,543    4,757   16,290  8,611    1,189    7,928  3,291      347    3,535   32,644
       With labor force activity. 133,090   40,751 34,555    2,389   12,432  6,891      587    5,793  2,753      187    2,585   24,166
         1 to 26 weeks...........  12,191    1,370  3,527    1,406    2,881    317      332      797     95      101      315    1,050
         27 weeks or more........ 120,899   39,381 31,028      983    9,551  6,574      254    4,997  2,658       85    2,270   23,116
       With no labor force                                                                                                            
          activity...............  46,005    9,207 15,988    2,368    3,858  1,720      602    2,135    538      161      950    8,478
                                                                                                                                      
         Below poverty level                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                      
           All persons...........  23,420    2,967  3,009      395      938  4,160      711    1,639    529       32      313    8,727
       With labor force activity.  10,618    1,827    963      103      364  2,296      216      701    350        8      138    3,651
         1 to 26 weeks...........   3,197      226    369       76      112    635      159      249     75        7       61    1,229
         27 weeks or more........   7,421    1,601    594       27      252  1,661       57      452    276        1       77    2,423
       With no labor force                                                                                                            
          activity...............  12,803    1,140  2,046      292      575  1,864      495      938    179       24      175    5,076
                                                                                                                                      
           Poverty rate(1)                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                      
           All persons...........    11.6      5.6    5.6      7.7      5.4   32.6     37.4     17.1   13.8      8.4      8.1     21.1 
       With labor force activity.     7.4      4.3    2.7      4.1      2.8   25.0     26.9     10.8   11.3      4.1      5.1     13.1 
         1 to 26 weeks...........    20.8     14.2    9.5      5.1      3.7   66.7     32.4     23.8   44.0      6.3     16.2     53.9 
         27 weeks or more........     5.8      3.9    1.9      2.6      2.6   20.2     18.3      8.3    9.4      1.5      3.3      9.5 
       With no labor force                                                                                                            
          activity...............    21.8     11.0   11.3     11.0     13.0   52.0     45.1     30.5   24.9     13.0     15.6     37.4 
     _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
                                                                                                                                      
       1 Number below the poverty level as a percent of the total in the labor force.
         NOTE: Data refer to persons 16 years and over.  Data for 1996, which were collected in the March 1997 supplement to the
     Current Population Survey (CPS), are not strictly comparable with data for 1995 and earlier years because of the introduction in
     January 1997 of revised population controls used in the survey.  For additional information, see "Revisions in the Current
     Population Survey Effective January 1997" in the February 1997 issue of Employment and Earnings.
     Table 6.  Primary families: Poverty status, presence of related children, and work experience of family
     members in the labor force for 27 weeks or more, 1996
     (Numbers in thousands)
                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                   
                       Characteristic                                    At or above   Below poverty     Poverty   
                                                        Total families  poverty level      level         rate(1)   
                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                   
             Total primary families....................      58,087         54,003          4,084           7.0    
                                                                                                                   
     With related children under 18....................      33,753         30,226          3,527          10.4    
     Without children..................................      24,333         23,777            557           2.3    
                                                                                                                   
     With one member in the labor force................      23,307         19,900          3,407          14.6    
     With two or more members in the labor force.......      34,780         34,103            677           1.9    
       With two members................................      29,026         28,426            599           2.1    
       With three or more members......................       5,754          5,676             78           1.4    
                                                                                                                   
     Married-couple families:                                                                                      
                                                                                                                   
       With related children under 18..................      25,295         23,782          1,512           6.0    
       Without children................................      19,778         19,420            358           1.8    
                                                                                                                   
       With one member in the labor force..............      14,366         12,982          1,384           9.6    
         Husband.......................................      10,894          9,760          1,134          10.4    
         Wife..........................................       2,763          2,569            194           7.0    
         Relative......................................         709            653             56           7.9    
       With two or more members in the labor force.....      30,706         30,221            486           1.6    
         With two members..............................      25,770         25,337            433           1.7    
         With three or more members....................       4,936          4,884             53           1.1    
                                                                                                                   
     Families maintained by women:                                                                                 
                                                                                                                   
       With related children under 18..................       6,637          4,872          1,765          26.6    
       Without children................................       3,014          2,869            145           4.8    
                                                                                                                   
       With one member in the labor force..............       6,879          5,128          1,751          25.5    
         Householder...................................       5,689          4,165          1,524          26.8    
         Relative......................................       1,190            963            227          19.1    
       With two or more members in the labor force.....       2,772          2,612            160           5.8    
                                                                                                                   
     Families maintained by men:                                                                                   
                                                                                                                   
       With related children under 18..................       1,822          1,572            250          13.7    
       Without children................................       1,541          1,488             53           3.5    
                                                                                                                   
       With one member in the labor force..............       2,062          1,790            272          13.2    
         Householder...................................       1,746          1,500            246          14.1    
         Relative......................................         316            291             26           8.1    
       With two or more members in the labor force.....       1,302          1,270             32           2.5    
       1 Number below the poverty level as a percent of the total in the labor force for 27 weeks or more.
        NOTE: Data relate to primary families with at least one member in the labor force for 27 weeks or more. 
     Data for 1996, which were collected in the March 1997 supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS), are
     not strictly comparable with data for 1995 and earlier years because of the introduction in January 1997 of
     revised population controls used in the survey.  For additional information, see "Revisions in the Current
     Population Survey Effective January 1997" in the February 1997 issue of Employment and Earnings.
     Table 7.  Unrelated individuals in the labor force for 27 weeks or more: Poverty status by age, sex, race, Hispanic origin,
     and living arrangement, 1996
     (Numbers in thousands)
     ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
                                             |                    |                    |                    |                    
                  Characteristic             |        Total       | At or above poverty| Below poverty level|   Poverty rate(1)  
                                             |                    |        level       |                    |                    
     ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
                                             |                    |                    |                    |                    
                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                 
                   Age and sex                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                 
            Total unrelated individuals......         25,539               23,116                2,423                 9.5       
     16 to 19 years..........................            508                  223                  285                56.1       
     20 to 24 years..........................          3,266                2,582                  684                21.0       
     25 to 64 years..........................         20,638               19,211                1,427                 6.9       
     65 years and older......................          1,126                1,100                   26                 2.3       
                                                                                                                                 
     Men.....................................         14,325               13,100                1,225                 8.5       
     Women...................................         11,214               10,016                1,198                10.7       
                                                                                                                                 
             Race and Hispanic origin                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                 
     White...................................         21,569               19,605                1,964                 9.1       
        Men..................................         12,113               11,130                  982                 8.1       
        Women................................          9,457                8,475                  982                10.4       
                                                                                                                                 
     Black...................................          2,981                2,611                  370                12.4       
        Men..................................          1,652                1,462                  191                11.5       
        Women................................          1,329                1,149                  180                13.5       
                                                                                                                                 
     Hispanic origin.........................          2,054                1,685                  369                18.0       
        Men..................................          1,386                1,138                  248                17.9       
        Women................................            668                  547                  121                18.1       
                                                                                                                                 
                Living arrangement                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                 
     Living alone............................         13,530               12,734                  795                 5.9       
     Living with others......................         12,009               10,382                1,627                13.6       
     ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
                                                                                                                                 
       1 Number below the poverty level as a percent of the total in the labor force for 27 weeks or more.
         NOTE: Detail for race and Hispanic-origin groups will not sum to totals because data for the "other races" group are not
     presented and Hispanics are included in both the white and black population groups.  Data for 1996, which were collected in
     the March 1997 supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS), are not strictly comparable with data for 1995 and earlier
     years because of the introduction in January 1997 of revised population controls used in the survey.  For additional
     information, see "Revisions in the Current Population Survey Effective January 1997" in the February 1997 issue of
     Employment and Earnings.
     Table 8.  Persons in the labor force for 27 weeks or more: Poverty status and labor market problems of full-time wage and
     salary workers, 1996
     (Numbers in thousands)
     ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
                                                                             |            |            |            |            
                                                                             |            | At or above|    Below   |   Poverty  
                     Poverty status and labor market problems                |    Total   |   poverty  |   poverty  |   rate(1)  
                                                                             |            |    level   |    level   |            
     ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
                                                                             |            |            |            |            
                                                                                                                                 
          Total, full-time wage and salary workers...........................    100,278       96,377        3,902         3.9   
                                                                                                                                 
     No unemployment, involuntary part-time employment, or low earnings(2)...     78,989       78,501          488         0.6   
                                                                                                                                 
     Unemployment only.......................................................      5,845        5,404          441         7.5   
     Involuntary part-time employment only...................................      2,374        2,336           38         1.6   
     Low earnings only.......................................................      8,324        6,698        1,626        19.5   
                                                                                                                                 
     Unemployment and involuntary part-time employment.......................      1,171        1,078           93         7.9   
     Unemployment and low earnings...........................................      1,986        1,253          733        36.9   
     Involuntary part-time employment and low earnings.......................        983          742          241        24.5   
                                                                                                                                 
     Unemployment, involuntary part-time employment, and low earnings........        606          364          242        39.9   
     ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
                                                                                                                                 
       1 Number below the poverty level as a percent of the total in the labor force for 27 weeks or more.
       2 The low earnings threshold in 1996 was $230.93 per week.
         NOTE: Data refer to persons 16 years and over.  Data for 1996, which were collected in the March 1997 supplement to the
     Current Population Survey (CPS), are not strictly comparable with data for 1995 and earlier years because of the
     introduction in January 1997 of revised population controls used in the survey.  For additional information, see "Revisions
     in the Current Population Survey Effective January 1997" in the February 1997 issue of Employment and Earnings.

Last Modified Date: October 16, 2001

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