Growing Number of Working Poor

Nearly a third of the nation’s working families earn salaries so low that they struggle
to pay for their necessities, according to a new report.

Analyzing 2011 data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the report said that 32% of working families earned salaries that put them below double the poverty threshold. For a family of four, double the poverty threshold was $45,622. That percentage has crept up from 28% in 2007, the year the recession began. Families that are below 200% of the poverty level are considered "in poverty".  The report has made a clear distinction that working families are falling within the poverty lines, increasing the number of working poor families in the country.

The growth in the ranks of the working poor coincides with continued growth in income inequality. Many of the occupations experiencing the fastest job growth during the recovery also pay poorly. Among them are retail jobs, food preparation, clerical work and customer assistance.


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