FAQ

What are poverty rates among working adults?
Official data by work experience

 

The Census Bureau reports poverty rates by work experience for people ages 18 to 64.  In 2012, the overall poverty rate for people ages 18 to 64 was 14%. 

The poverty rates by work experience for that age group ranged from 3% to 33%.

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Another way to think about the relationship between poverty and employment status is to look at how the distribution of people in poverty by their employment status compares to that of the population as a whole.

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By that measure, in 2012 those who did not work comprise a far greater share of the population in poverty than their share of the general population; while those who worked, whether full- or part-time, are underrepresented.

Source:
DeNavas-Walt, Carmen, Bernadette D. Proctor, and Jessica C. Smith, Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2012 U.S. Census Bureau. Current Population Reports P60-245, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 2012. Table 3: People and Families in Poverty by Selected Characteristics: 2011 and 2012 (PDF) Accessed 9/20/2013

FAQ

What are the characteristics of minimum wage workers?
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

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In 2013, 75.9 million workers (or 59% of all wage and salary workers) in the United States age 16 and over were paid hourly wages. Among those 1.5 million workers earned exactly the prevailing federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Another 1.8 million had wages below the federal minimum.  Together these workers make up 4% of all hourly paid workers.

FAQ

Who are the working poor?
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

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The majority of the people who live below the poverty level do not work. 

In 2012, 46.5 million people were poor.  According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 10.6 million or 23% of the poor were “working poor.” 

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