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%. 

Image of What are poverty rates among working adults?The poverty rates by work experience for that age group were:

  • 3% for full-time, year-round workers
  • 7% for all workers
  • 17% for those who worked less than full-time year-round
  • 33% for those who did not work at least 1 week

Those who worked were 40% of the poor ages 18 to 64; they accounted for 75% of the overall population in that age group.  Those who did not work at least one week accounted for 60% of the poor ages 18 to 64; that group was 25% of the overall population in that age group.

Those who worked full-time, year-round were 11% of the poor ages 18 to 64; they represented 51% of the overall population in that age group.  Those who worked less than full-time, year-round were 29% of the poor ages 18 to 64; they represented 24% of the overall population in that age group.

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

Image of What are the characteristics of minimum wage workers?

 

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

Image of Who are the working poor?

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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