April 23, 2002
People who work full-time—35 hours or more per week—are far less likely to live in poverty than are others. However, almost 3.4 million who were in the labor force at least half of 2000 and usually worked in full-time jobs were classified as working poor.
There are three labor market problems experienced by these workers: Low earnings, unemployment, and involuntary part-time employment. Low earnings was the most common problem, with 73 percent of these workers facing it, either alone or in conjunction with other labor market problems. About 30 percent of the working poor experienced unemployment, either alone or in conjunction with other problems.
About 25 percent of full-time wage and salary workers classified among the working poor had experienced two or more of the primary labor market problems. The most common combinations were of low earnings and one of the others.
The data in this report are from the Current Population Survey. As defined in this report, the working poor are individuals who spent at least 27 weeks in the labor force (working or looking for work), but whose incomes fell below the official poverty level. For more information on the working poor, see A Profile of the Working Poor, 2000 (BLS Report 957).
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Most full-timers among working poor have one labor market problem on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2002/apr/wk4/art02.htm (visited April 27, 2015).
New estimates of personal taxes in Consumer Expenditure Survey
In 2013, the Consumer Expenditure Survey improved its personal tax data.
Trends in long-term unemployment
Long-term unemployment reached historically high levels following the recession of 2007–2009.
Housing: before, during, and after the Great Recession
looks at consumer expenditures on household items, employment in residential construction, prices for household items, and injuries in occupations involved in building and maintaining our homes.