Economic News Release

A Profile of the Working Poor, 1998


U.S. Department of Labor
Bureau of Labor Statistics
August 2000
Report 944

About 34.5 million people, or 12.7 percent of the population, lived at or below the official poverty level in 1998—1.1 million fewer than in 1997. Although the Nation's poor were primarily children and adults who did not participate in the labor force, about 7.2 million persons were classified as the "working poor." This was nearly 300,000 fewer than in 1997. The working poor are individuals who spent at least 27 weeks in the labor force (working or looking for work), but whose family or personal incomes fell below the official poverty level. The poverty rate—defined in this report as the ratio of the working poor to persons in the labor force for at least 27 weeks—fell 0.3 percentage point to 5.4 percent in 1998. (See tables A and 1.)

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 10.6 percent for part-time workers. Nevertheless, the majority of the working poor—63.3 percent—were full-time workers. Only a very small proportion of the working poor (5.1 percent) actively sought a job for more than 6 months in 1998 without finding any work. This was down from 6.8 percent in 1997.

This report presents data on the relationships between labor force activity and poverty in 1998 for individual workers and their families. The data were collected in the work experience and income supplement to the March 1999 Current Population Survey (CPS). For a more detailed description of the source of the data and an explanation of the concepts and definitions used in this report, see the technical note.

The earnings thresholds that are established to determine poverty status are in terms of family earnings, rather than personal earnings, if related individuals reside in the household. Thus, earnings from an individual's employment are only one factor in that person's poverty status; if the individual lives with family, then the earnings of others in the family and the presence of dependents also are important.


Table A. Poverty status of persons and primary families in the labor force 
for 27 weeks or more, 1995-98
(Numbers in thousands)
    Characteristic	           1995       1996        1997       1998  
Total persons 1                 126,020    128,320     130,047    131,731
  In poverty		          7,484	     7,421       7,453      7,158
  Poverty rate		            5.9	       5.8         5.7        5.4
Unrelated individuals	         24,207	    25,539      26,158     26,971
  In poverty		          2,312	     2,423       2,534      2,281
  Poverty rate		            9.5	       9.5         9.7        8.5
Primary families 2	         57,262	    58,087      58,815     59,621
  In poverty		          4,008	     4,084       4,068      4,019
  Poverty rate		            7.0	       7.0         6.9        6.7
  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.

Demographic characteristics
Among those who were in the labor force for 27 weeks or more in 1998, the proportion of women classified as working poor (6.3 percent) was much higher than that of men (4.7 percent). The rate for women had been as high as 7.3 percent as recently as 1993. The rate for men continued its steady decline from a high of 6.2 percent in 1993. (See table 2.)

Working wives were less likely than working husbands to be poor (in aggregate) because working wives were more likely to be in families with a second earner. In 1998, about 2.0 percent of married women who were in the labor force for 27 weeks or more were in poverty, compared with 3.7 percent of married men. In contrast, 20.4 percent of women who maintained families and who were in the labor force for at least 6 months were in poverty. Part of the explanation for the very high poverty rate among women who maintain families is that they are less likely to be in households in which another family member is an earner. (See "Family structure," below.)

Among those who were in the labor force for 6 months or more in 1998, 4.7 percent of whites were classified as working poor, compared with 10.8 percent of blacks and 12.5 percent of Hispanics. The chances of being among the working poor decline substantially with age, in part because earnings are higher and unemployment is lower among older workers than among younger ones. The poverty rate for teenagers who were in the labor force for 27 weeks or more fell substantially, from 11.6 percent in 1997 to 8.6 percent in 1998. The decline was due in part to a nearly 9-percentage-point drop in the rate for black teens. (See table 2.)

Educational attainment
Lack of education and poverty are closely related among those in the labor force for at least half of the year. In 1998, 14.5 percent of high school dropouts were among the working poor, more than double the proportion for high school graduates (6.6 percent). The poverty rates were even lower for workers with an associate degree (2.5 percent) and for college graduates (1.4 percent). At all major levels of educational attainment, the proportions among the working poor were higher for women and blacks than for men and whites. (See table 3.)

Occupation
Nearly 12 percent of those who were in the labor force for at least 27 weeks, and whose longest job was a service occupation, lived below the poverty line. The 2.0 million working poor in these occupations accounted for nearly 30 percent of all workers living in poverty. Within the category of service workers, private household workers, almost all of whom were women, were the most likely to be in poverty (19.4 percent). Among the other major occupation groups, workers in farming, forestry, and fishing had the highest incidence of poverty in 1998 at 16.0 percent. The lowest poverty rates were for those employed in executive, administrative, and managerial occupations and in professional specialty jobs (1.4 percent), in which high earnings and full-time employment are typical. (See table 4.)

Family structure
Among families with at least one member in the labor force for 27 weeks or more in 1998, 4.0 million, or 6.7 percent, had incomes at or below the poverty line, about the same as in 1997. The poverty threshold for families reflects both total family income and the number of family members; thus, the larger the family, the higher the level of income needed to keep the family out of poverty. This, coupled with the fact that the presence of children tends to decrease the overall labor supply of a family, creates a circumstance in which the larger the family, the more likely it is to be below the poverty line. Consequently, families with children under age 18 were much more likely to be counted as working poor families than those without children (10.2 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively).

The likelihood that a family was living below the poverty line falls dramatically if more then one member was in the labor force for at least 6 months. Only 2.2 percent of families with two labor force participants and 1.0 percent of families with three or more participants were among the working poor. In contrast, 13.6 percent of families with only one member in the labor force were in poverty. (See tables 5 and 6.)

Unrelated individuals
Unrelated individuals are persons who live either alone or with nonrelatives. Of the 27 million unrelated individuals who were in the labor force for 27 weeks or more in 1998, 2.3 million, or 8.5 percent, lived below the poverty level. This rate was down from 9.7 percent in 1997.

Two types of living situations characterize unrelated individuals: some live by themselves, while some share housing with other unrelated persons. Of those who were labor force participants for more than 6 months in 1998, those living with unrelated individuals were much more likely to be among the working poor (11.7 percent) than were those living alone (5.6 percent). It should be noted that the poverty status of unrelated individuals is determined by their personal, rather than household, incomes. To the extent that unrelated individuals with low incomes live with others in order to share expenses and pool their resources, the proportion of these workers in poverty, in terms of their standard of living, may be overstated. Conversely, many of those who live alone do so because they have sufficient incomes to support themselves. (See table 7.)

Labor market problems
As noted above, people who usually work full time—that is, 35 hours or more per week—are far less likely to live in poverty than are others. However, there remains a sizable group of full-time workers who live below the poverty threshold. There are three primary labor market problems experienced by these full-time workers: Unemployment, low earnings, and involuntary part-time employment. (See definitions in the technical note.) Among those who participated in the labor force for than more half of the year and who usually worked in full-time wage and salary jobs, 3.8 million, or 3.7 percent, were classified as working poor in 1998, little changed from the prior year. (See table 8.)

About 83 percent of the working poor who usually worked full time experienced at least one of the major labor market problems. Low earnings continued to be the most common problem; about 7 in 10 poor workers faced low earnings, either alone or in conjunction with other labor market problems. Nearly a third of the working poor experienced unemployment, alone or in conjunction with other problems. Only 1 in 20 experienced all three problems—low earnings, unemployment, and involuntary part-time employment.

Some 650,000 of these working poor, or 17.2 percent, did not experience any of the three primary labor market problems in 1998. 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.

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 1999 Current Population Survey (CPS). The CPS is a monthly survey of about 50,000 households conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics to collect demographic, social, and economic information about persons 16 years of age and older. The work experience and income information collected in the March supplement refers to activity in the entire prior calendar year.

The estimates are based on a sample; consequently, 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: 1998—Current Population Reports, Series P-60, No. 207 (U.S. Census Bureau, September 1999). This publication also is available on the U.S. Census Bureau website (http://www.census.gov).

Information in this report will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339. 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 report, 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) 691-6378.

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 originally were 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 1998, the average poverty threshold for a family of four was $16,660; for a family of nine or more persons, the threshold was $33,339; and for an unrelated individual aged 65 or older, it was $7,818. The poverty thresholds are updated each year to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U). The thresholds do not vary geographically. For more information, see Poverty in the United States: 1998, 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 currently are covered. The low earnings level has subsequently been adjusted each year using the CPI-U, so that the measure maintains the same real value that it held in 1987. In 1998, the low earnings threshold was $239.91 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 benefits. For a complete definition of the income concept, see Poverty in the United States: 1998, 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 nonrelated 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 birth, 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.

Thomas M. Beers, an economist in the Division of Labor Force Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, prepared this report.


     Table 1.  Persons in the labor force: Poverty status and work experience by weeks in the labor force, 1998
                                                                                                                                 
     (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....................................        146,570               131,731               117,858       
         Did not work during the year..........................          1,729                   726                   643       
         Worked during the year................................        144,841               131,005               117,216       
           Usual full-time workers.............................        115,697               109,619               101,787       
           Usual part-time workers.............................         29,144                21,386                15,428       
             Involuntary part-time workers.....................          4,202                 3,378                 2,611       
             Voluntary part-time workers.......................         24,942                18,008                12,817       
                                                                                                                                 
                     At or above poverty level                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                 
       Total in labor force....................................        136,666               124,573               112,126       
         Did not work during the year..........................            935                   364                   313       
         Worked during the year................................        135,731               124,210               111,814       
           Usual full-time workers.............................        109,941               105,091                98,008       
           Usual part-time workers.............................         25,790                19,118                13,806       
             Involuntary part-time workers.....................          3,081                 2,508                 1,952       
             Voluntary part-time workers.......................         22,709                16,611                11,853       
                                                                                                                                 
                        Below poverty level                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                 
       Total in labor force....................................          9,903                 7,158                 5,732       
         Did not work during the year..........................            794                   362                   330       
         Worked during the year................................          9,110                 6,796                 5,402       
           Usual full-time workers.............................          5,756                 4,528                 3,779       
           Usual part-time workers.............................          3,354                 2,268                 1,623       
             Involuntary part-time workers.....................          1,121                   871                   659       
             Voluntary part-time workers.......................          2,233                 1,397                   964       
                                                                                                                                 
                          Poverty rate(1)                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                 
       Total in labor force....................................           6.8                   5.4                   4.9        
         Did not work during the year..........................          45.9                  49.9                  51.3        
         Worked during the year................................           6.3                   5.2                   4.6        
           Usual full-time workers.............................           5.0                   4.1                   3.7        
           Usual part-time workers.............................          11.5                  10.6                  10.5        
             Involuntary part-time workers.....................          26.7                  25.8                  25.2        
             Voluntary part-time workers.......................           9.0                   7.8                   7.5        
       1 Number below the poverty level as a percent of the total in the labor force.
         NOTE: Data refer to persons 16 years and older.  Data for 1998, which were collected in the March 1999 supplement to the
     Current Population Survey (CPS), are not strictly comparable with data for 1997 and earlier years because of the
     introduction in January 1999 of revised population controls used in the survey.  For additional information, see "Revisions
     in the Current Population Survey Effective January 1999" in the February 1999 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, 1998
     (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... 131,731 110,617 15,041   13,341  7,158  5,219  1,617    1,665    5.4    4.7   10.8    12.5 
     16 to 19 years..................   5,101   4,371    554      589    439    340     80      122    8.6    7.8   14.4    20.6 
     20 to 24 years..................  12,362  10,210  1,591    1,844  1,361  1,021    291      297   11.0   10.0   18.3    16.1 
     25 to 34 years..................  31,077  25,248  4,157    4,086  2,138  1,485    549      554    6.9    5.9   13.2    13.6 
     35 to 44 years..................  36,697  30,575  4,375    3,563  1,881  1,390    406      458    5.1    4.5    9.3    12.9 
     45 to 54 years..................  28,653  24,480  2,927    2,148    789    577    165      166    2.8    2.4    5.6     7.7 
     55 to 64 years..................  13,770  12,063  1,164      923    446    325    110       59    3.2    2.7    9.5     6.4 
     65 years and older..............   4,070   3,670    273      188    105     80     17       10    2.6    2.2    6.2     5.1 
                                                                                                                                 
         Men, 16 years and older.....  71,067  60,783  7,015    7,912  3,364  2,689    506      999    4.7    4.4    7.2    12.6 
     16 to 19 years..................   2,617   2,257    269      322    184    146     31       52    7.1    6.5   11.6    16.2 
     20 to 24 years..................   6,521   5,512    734    1,129    619    502     92      189    9.5    9.1   12.5    16.8 
     25 to 34 years..................  16,977  14,080  1,961    2,557    982    773    165      360    5.8    5.5    8.4    14.1 
     35 to 44 years..................  19,932  16,949  2,031    2,049    879    723    106      264    4.4    4.3    5.2    12.9 
     45 to 54 years..................  15,168  13,174  1,376    1,202    420    327     66       98    2.8    2.5    4.8     8.2 
     55 to 64 years..................   7,565   6,718    522      527    225    170     45       33    3.0    2.5    8.5     6.3 
     65 years and older..............   2,287   2,093    122      127     54     49      1        3    2.4    2.3    1.2     2.0 
                                                                                                                                 
         Women, 16 years and older...  60,664  49,834  8,026    5,428  3,795  2,530  1,111      666    6.3    5.1   13.8    12.3 
     16 to 19 years..................   2,484   2,115    285      267    254    194     49       69   10.2    9.2   17.1    26.0 
     20 to 24 years..................   5,841   4,698    857      715    742    519    199      107   12.7   11.0   23.2    15.0 
     25 to 34 years..................  14,100  11,168  2,196    1,529  1,156    713    383      194    8.2    6.4   17.5    12.7 
     35 to 44 years..................  16,765  13,625  2,344    1,514  1,002    667    300      194    6.0    4.9   12.8    12.8 
     45 to 54 years..................  13,485  11,306  1,551      946    368    250     99       68    2.7    2.2    6.4     7.2 
     55 to 64 years..................   6,205   5,345    642      396    221    155     66       26    3.6    2.9   10.2     6.5 
     65 years and older..............   1,783   1,577    151       61     51     32     15        7    2.9    2.0   10.2    (2)  
       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 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 1998, which were collected in
     the March 1999 supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS), are not strictly comparable with data for 1997 and earlier
     years because of the introduction in January 1999 of revised population controls used in the survey.  For additional
     information, see "Revisions in the Current Population Survey Effective January 1999" in the February 1999 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, 1998
                                                                                                                                        
     (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.....................  131,731   71,067   60,664    7,158    3,364    3,795     5.4      4.7      6.3 
     Less than a high school diploma...................   16,196    9,830    6,366    2,342    1,277    1,066    14.5     13.0     16.7 
       Less than 1 year of high school.................    4,456    2,941    1,515      796      535      261    17.9     18.2     17.2 
       1-3 years of high school........................   10,098    5,830    4,268    1,330      609      721    13.2     10.4     16.9 
       4 years of high school, no diploma..............    1,642    1,059      583      216      132       83    13.1     12.5     14.3 
     High school graduates, no college.................   42,760   23,003   19,757    2,825    1,254    1,571     6.6      5.5      7.9 
     Some college, no degree...........................   26,365   13,445   12,919    1,176      472      704     4.5      3.5      5.5 
     Associate degree..................................   10,780    5,280    5,500      306      105      201     2.8      2.0      3.7 
     College graduates.................................   35,630   19,508   16,122      509      256      253     1.4      1.3      1.6 
                                                                                                                                        
         White, 16 years and older.....................  110,617   60,783   49,834    5,219    2,689    2,530     4.7      4.4      5.1 
     Less than a high school diploma...................   13,213    8,316    4,897    1,799    1,063      736    13.6     12.8     15.0 
       Less than 1 year of high school.................    3,835    2,589    1,246      710      485      225    18.5     18.7     18.1 
       1-3 years of high school........................    8,147    4,888    3,259      928      475      453    11.4      9.7     13.9 
       4 years of high school, no diploma..............    1,231      839      392      162      104       58    13.1     12.4     14.7 
     High school graduates, no college.................   35,705   19,435   16,270    1,965      958    1,006     5.5      4.9      6.2 
     Some college, no degree...........................   21,685   11,274   10,411      829      374      455     3.8      3.3      4.4 
     Associate degree..................................    9,304    4,616    4,689      221       76      145     2.4      1.6      3.1 
     College graduates.................................   30,709   17,142   13,568      404      217      187     1.3      1.3      1.4 
                                                                                                                                        
         Black, 16 years and older.....................   15,041    7,015    8,026    1,617      506    1,111    10.8      7.2     13.8 
     Less than a high school diploma...................    2,211    1,089    1,123      444      151      293    20.1     13.9     26.1 
       Less than 1 year of high school.................      367      221      145       42       17       25    11.4      7.6     17.1 
       1-3 years of high school........................    1,542      712      830      354      111      243    23.0     15.6     29.3 
       4 years of high school, no diploma..............      303      156      147       48       23       25    15.9     14.8     17.0 
     High school graduates, no college.................    5,661    2,820    2,841      769      252      517    13.6      8.9     18.2 
     Some college, no degree...........................    3,578    1,598    1,980      281       63      218     7.9      3.9     11.0 
     Associate degree..................................    1,020      431      590       51       12       39     5.0      2.9      6.6 
     College graduates.................................    2,571    1,079    1,492       72       28       44     2.8      2.6      3.0 
       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.
         NOTE: Data for 1998, which were collected in the March 1999 supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS), are not strictly
     comparable with data for 1997 and earlier years because of the introduction in January 1999 of revised population controls used in
     the survey.  For additional information, see "Revisions in the Current Population Survey Effective January 1999" in the February
     1999 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, 1998
     (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)..................  131,005   70,691   60,314    6,796    3,197    3,598     5.2      4.5      6.0 
                                                                                                                                        
     Managerial and professional specialty.............   39,094   19,729   19,364      589      276      312     1.5      1.4      1.6 
       Executive, administrative, and managerial.......   19,316   10,492    8,824      263      145      119     1.4      1.4      1.3 
       Professional specialty..........................   19,778    9,237   10,541      325      132      194     1.6      1.4      1.8 
     Technical, sales, and administrative support......   37,976   13,872   24,104    1,662      383    1,279     4.4      2.8      5.3 
       Technicians and related support.................    4,236    2,016    2,220       66       29       37     1.6      1.4      1.7 
       Sales occupations...............................   15,750    8,088    7,662      949      261      688     6.0      3.2      9.0 
       Administrative support, including clerical......   17,990    3,768   14,222      648       93      554     3.6      2.5      3.9 
     Service occupations...............................   17,535    6,916   10,619    2,013      564    1,448    11.5      8.2     13.6 
       Private household...............................      696       30      666      135        7      129    19.4     (3)      19.3 
       Protective service..............................    2,408    1,942      466       64       25       39     2.6      1.3      8.4 
       Service, except private household and protective   14,431    4,944    9,488    1,814      533    1,281    12.6     10.8     13.5 
     Precision production, craft, and repair...........   14,766   13,472    1,294      660      596       64     4.5      4.4      4.9 
     Operators, fabricators, and laborers..............   18,226   13,903    4,322    1,353      962      391     7.4      6.9      9.0 
       Machine operators, assemblers, and inspectors...    7,621    4,869    2,752      487      266      221     6.4      5.5      8.0 
       Transportation and material moving occupations..    5,350    4,801      549      331      278       53     6.2      5.8      9.7 
       Handlers, equipment cleaners, helpers, and                                                                                       
        laborers.......................................    5,255    4,234    1,021      534      418      116    10.2      9.9     11.4 
     Farming, forestry, and fishing....................    3,239    2,644      595      518      414      104    16.0     15.7     17.5 
                                                                                                                                        
           White, 16 years and older(2)................  110,148   60,503   49,644    5,011    2,575    2,436     4.5      4.3      4.9 
                                                                                                                                        
     Managerial and professional specialty.............   34,027   17,523   16,504      453      240      213     1.3      1.4      1.3 
       Executive, administrative, and managerial.......   16,981    9,473    7,509      208      131       77     1.2      1.4      1.0 
       Professional specialty..........................   17,046    8,050    8,995      245      110      135     1.4      1.4      1.5 
     Technical, sales, and administrative support......   32,068   11,842   20,226    1,176      282      894     3.7      2.4      4.4 
       Technicians and related support.................    3,540    1,716    1,824       43       28       16     1.2      1.6       .9 
       Sales occupations...............................   13,565    7,116    6,449      659      192      468     4.9      2.7      7.3 
       Administrative support, including clerical......   14,963    3,010   11,954      473       63      410     3.2      2.1      3.4 
     Service occupations...............................   13,454    5,420    8,034    1,357      425      931    10.1      7.8     11.6 
       Private household...............................      536       26      510      104        7       97    19.4     (3)      19.1 
       Protective service..............................    1,818    1,517      301       33       16       17     1.8      1.1      5.5 
       Service, except private household and protective   11,100    3,877    7,223    1,220      402      817    11.0     10.4     11.3 
     Precision production, craft, and repair...........   13,029   12,003    1,025      556      510       46     4.3      4.3      4.5 
     Operators, fabricators, and laborers..............   14,466   11,188    3,278    1,014      762      252     7.0      6.8      7.7 
       Machine operators, assemblers, and inspectors...    6,011    3,965    2,046      355      211      144     5.9      5.3      7.0 
       Transportation and material moving occupations..    4,343    3,900      444      250      216       34     5.8      5.5      7.7 
       Handlers, equipment cleaners, helpers, and                                                                                       
        laborers.......................................    4,112    3,324      788      410      335       75    10.0     10.1      9.5 
     Farming, forestry, and fishing....................    2,974    2,407      567      456      355      100    15.3     14.8     17.7 
                                                                                                                                        
           Black, 16 years and older(2)................   14,823    6,937    7,886    1,480      461    1,019    10.0      6.7     12.9 
                                                                                                                                        
     Managerial and professional specialty.............    3,011    1,121    1,890       94       21       74     3.1      1.9      3.9 
       Executive, administrative, and managerial.......    1,441      549      891       34        4       30     2.4       .7      3.4 
       Professional specialty..........................    1,570      572      999       60       17       43     3.8      3.0      4.3 
     Technical, sales, and administrative support......    4,233    1,303    2,930      405       69      336     9.6      5.3     11.5 
       Technicians and related support.................      447      197      250       16     -          16     3.7      -        6.5 
       Sales occupations...............................    1,431      562      870      233       46      187    16.3      8.3     21.5 
       Administrative support, including clerical......    2,355      545    1,810      156       23      133     6.6      4.2      7.3 
     Service occupations...............................    3,286    1,159    2,127      584      101      482    17.8      8.8     22.7 
       Private household...............................      128        5      123       27     -          27    21.2      -       21.9 
       Protective service..............................      538      381      157       28        6       22     5.2      1.6     13.8 
       Service, except private household and protective    2,620      773    1,847      529       95      434    20.2     12.3     23.5 
     Precision production, craft, and repair...........    1,187    1,016      171       59       52        7     5.0      5.2      3.9 
     Operators, fabricators, and laborers..............    2,882    2,131      750      283      165      117     9.8      7.8     15.7 
       Machine operators, assemblers, and inspectors...    1,135      634      501      107       40       67     9.4      6.3     13.3 
       Transportation and material moving occupations..      833      749       84       73       54       19     8.7      7.2     22.5 
       Handlers, equipment cleaners, helpers, and                                                                                       
        laborers.......................................      913      748      165      104       72       32    11.4      9.6     19.2 
     Farming, forestry, and fishing....................      188      173       14       55       52        3    29.1     30.1     (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 1998, which were collected in the March 1999 supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS), are not
     strictly comparable with data for 1997 and earlier years because of the introduction in January 1999 of revised population controls
     used in the survey.  For additional information, see "Revisions in the Current Population Survey Effective January 1999" in the
     February 1999 issue of Employment and Earnings.  Dash represents or rounds to zero.
     Table 5.  Persons in families and unrelated individuals: Poverty status and work experience, 1998
     (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   rela-  holder children   rela-  holder children   rela-          
                                                          under 18   tives         under 18   tives         under 18   tives          
                                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                      
                TOTAL                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                      
           All persons........... 207,038   54,184 54,725    5,384   17,109 12,781    1,904    9,641  3,958      433    3,858   43,061
       With labor force activity. 146,570   43,299 36,131    2,510   12,765  9,462      785    6,553  3,225      167    2,608   29,065
         1 to 26 weeks...........  14,838    1,566  3,810    1,484    2,815    973      520    1,027    173      100      276    2,094
         27 weeks or more........ 131,731   41,734 32,320    1,026    9,950  8,489      264    5,526  3,052       67    2,332   26,971
       With no labor force                                                                                                            
          activity...............  60,468   10,884 18,595    2,874    4,344  3,319    1,120    3,088    733      266    1,250   13,995
                                                                                                                                      
      At or above poverty level                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                      
           All persons........... 184,813   51,338 51,851    5,027   16,434  8,953    1,265    8,192  3,484      391    3,522   34,355
       With labor force activity. 136,666   41,565 35,162    2,412   12,482  7,084      655    5,981  2,937      157    2,479   25,753
         1 to 26 weeks...........  12,093    1,380  3,499    1,422    2,715    330      418      825    107       91      243    1,063
         27 weeks or more........ 124,573   40,184 31,663      990    9,766  6,754      238    5,156  2,830       65    2,237   24,690
       With no labor force                                                                                                            
          activity...............  48,147    9,773 16,689    2,615    3,952  1,869      610    2,211    547      235    1,043    8,603
                                                                                                                                      
         Below poverty level                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                      
           All persons...........  22,225    2,846  2,874      357      675  3,828      639    1,449    474       42      336    8,705
       With labor force activity.   9,903    1,735    968       97      284  2,378      129      572    288       11      128    3,313
         1 to 26 weeks...........   2,745      186    311       62      100    643      103      202     65        9       33    1,031
         27 weeks or more........   7,158    1,549    657       36      184  1,735       27      370    223        2       95    2,281
       With no labor force                                                                                                            
          activity...............  12,322    1,111  1,906      259      391  1,450      510      877    186       31      208    5,393
                                                                                                                                      
           Poverty rate(1)                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                      
           All persons...........   10.7      5.3     5.3     6.6      3.9    29.9    33.6     15.0    12.0     9.7      8.7     20.2 
       With labor force activity.    6.8      4.0     2.7     3.9      2.2    25.1    16.5      8.7     8.9     6.5      4.9     11.4 
         1 to 26 weeks...........   18.5     11.9     8.2     4.1      3.6    66.1    19.7     19.7    37.7     9.2     12.0     49.2 
         27 weeks or more........    5.4      3.7     2.0     3.5      1.8    20.4    10.1      6.7     7.3     2.6      4.1      8.5 
       With no labor force                                                                                                            
          activity...............   20.4     10.2    10.2     9.0      9.0    43.7    45.5     28.4    25.4    11.7     16.6     38.5 
       1 Number below the poverty level as a percent of the total in the labor force.
         NOTE: Data refer to persons 16 years and older.  Data for 1998, which were collected in the March 1999 supplement to the
     Current Population Survey (CPS), are not strictly comparable with data for 1997 and earlier years because of the introduction in
     January 1999 of revised population controls used in the survey.  For additional information, see "Revisions in the Current
     Population Survey Effective January 1999" in the February 1999 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, 1998
     (Numbers in thousands)
                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                   
                       Characteristic                   Total families   At or above   Below poverty     Poverty   
                                                                        poverty level      level         rate(1)   
                                                                                                                   
             Total primary families....................      59,621         55,602          4,019           6.7    
                                                                                                                   
     With related children under 18....................      34,201         30,728          3,473          10.2    
     Without children..................................      25,420         24,874            546           2.1    
                                                                                                                   
     With one member in the labor force................      24,442         21,122          3,320          13.6    
     With two or more members in the labor force.......      35,179         34,481            698           2.0    
       With two members................................      29,356         28,713            643           2.2    
       With three or more members......................       5,823          5,768             55           1.0    
                                                                                                                   
     Married-couple families:                                                                                      
                                                                                                                   
       With related children under 18..................      25,428         23,939          1,489           5.9    
       Without children................................      20,721         20,385            336           1.6    
                                                                                                                   
       With one member in the labor force..............      15,141         13,841          1,300           8.6    
         Husband.......................................      11,429         10,381          1,048           9.2    
         Wife..........................................       3,014          2,817            196           6.5    
         Relative......................................         698            643             56           8.0    
       With two or more members in the labor force.....      31,008         30,483            525           1.7    
         With two members..............................      25,915         25,433            482           1.9    
         With three or more members....................       5,093          5,050             43            .8    
                                                                                                                   
     Families maintained by women:                                                                                 
                                                                                                                   
       With related children under 18..................       6,896          5,135          1,761          25.5    
       Without children................................       3,084          2,921            163           5.3    
                                                                                                                   
       With one member in the labor force..............       7,191          5,405          1,786          24.8    
         Householder...................................       5,987          4,371          1,616          27.0    
         Relative......................................       1,204          1,034            170          14.1    
       With two or more members in the labor force.....       2,789          2,651            138           5.0    
                                                                                                                   
     Families maintained by men:                                                                                   
                                                                                                                   
       With related children under 18..................       1,876          1,654            223          11.9    
       Without children................................       1,615          1,568             47           2.9    
                                                                                                                   
       With one member in the labor force..............       2,110          1,875            235          11.1    
         Householder...................................       1,784          1,589            194          10.9    
         Relative......................................         326            286             40          12.4    
       With two or more members in the labor force.....       1,382          1,347             35           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 1998, which were collected in the March 1999 supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS), are
     not strictly comparable with data for 1997 and earlier years because of the introduction in January 1999 of
     revised population controls used in the survey.  For additional information, see "Revisions in the Current
     Population Survey Effective January 1999" in the February 1999 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, 1998
                                                                                                                                 
     (Numbers in thousands)
                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                            At or above     Below       Poverty  
                                  Characteristic                                  Total       poverty      poverty      rate(1)  
                                                                                               level        level                
                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                 
                                   Age and sex                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                 
            Total unrelated individuals......................................     26,971       24,690        2,281         8.5   
     16 to 19 years..........................................................        545          348          197        36.1   
     20 to 24 years..........................................................      3,514        2,862          652        18.6   
     25 to 64 years..........................................................     21,825       20,429        1,397         6.4   
     65 years and older......................................................      1,086        1,051           36         3.3   
                                                                                                                                 
     Men.....................................................................     15,137       13,946        1,191         7.9   
     Women...................................................................     11,834       10,744        1,090         9.2   
                                                                                                                                 
                             Race and Hispanic origin                                                                            
                                                                                                                                 
     White...................................................................     22,673       20,836        1,838         8.1   
        Men..................................................................     12,828       11,842          987         7.7   
        Women................................................................      9,845        8,994          851         8.6   
                                                                                                                                 
     Black...................................................................      3,237        2,863          375        11.6   
        Men..................................................................      1,731        1,551          181        10.4   
        Women................................................................      1,506        1,312          194        12.9   
                                                                                                                                 
     Hispanic origin.........................................................      2,233        1,850          383        17.2   
        Men..................................................................      1,497        1,227          270        18.0   
        Women................................................................        735          622          113        15.4   
                                                                                                                                 
                                Living arrangement                                                                               
                                                                                                                                 
     Living alone............................................................     14,382       13,573          810         5.6   
     Living with others......................................................     12,589       11,117        1,472        11.7   
       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.
         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 1998, which were collected in
     the March 1999 supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS), are not strictly comparable with data for 1997 and earlier
     years because of the introduction in January 1999 of revised population controls used in the survey.  For additional
     information, see "Revisions in the Current Population Survey Effective January 1999" in the February 1999 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, 1998
                                                                                                                                 
     (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...........................    102,752       98,971        3,781         3.7   
                                                                                                                                 
     No unemployment, involuntary part-time employment, or low earnings(2)...     84,410       83,760          650          .8   
                                                                                                                                 
     Unemployment only.......................................................      5,489        5,141          348         6.3   
     Involuntary part-time employment only...................................      2,001        1,969           32         1.6   
     Low earnings only.......................................................      7,357        5,662        1,695        23.0   
                                                                                                                                 
     Unemployment and involuntary part-time employment.......................        969          885           84         8.6   
     Unemployment and low earnings...........................................      1,428          822          606        42.4   
     Involuntary part-time employment and low earnings.......................        656          485          171        26.0   
                                                                                                                                 
     Unemployment, involuntary part-time employment, and low earnings........        443          247          196        44.2   
       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 The low earnings threshold in 1998 was $239.91 per week.
         NOTE: Data refer to persons 16 years and older.  Data for 1998, which were collected in the March 1999 supplement to the
     Current Population Survey (CPS), are not strictly comparable with data for 1997 and earlier years because of the
     introduction in January 1999 of revised population controls used in the survey.  For additional information, see "Revisions
     in the Current Population Survey Effective January 1999" in the February 1999 issue of Employment and Earnings.

Last Modified Date: October 16, 2001

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