June 19, 2006
The working poor rate—the ratio of the working poor to all individuals in the labor force at least 27 weeks—was 5.6 percent in 2004, a 0.3-percentage-point increase from the prior year.
Although working full-time (35 or more hours per week) substantially lowers a person’s probability of being poor, a majority (58.4 percent) of the working poor usually worked full time. Still, full-time workers were less likely than part-time workers to be considered working poor: in 2004, 3.9 percent of all persons who spent 27 or more weeks in the labor force and usually worked full time were classified as working poor, compared with 11.6 percent of usual part-time workers.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Rate of working poor up in 2004 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2006/jun/wk3/art01.htm (visited November 28, 2015).
Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.