Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the categories most associated with the working poor are (a) people who work, but who nevertheless fall under the official definition of poverty; (b) people who are in poverty and have at least one working family member; or (c) people who may not necessarily be “in poverty,” according to the official measure of poverty, but who fall below some percentage of the poverty level (e.g., 200 percent of poverty). The working poor are defined as those who have spent at least 27 weeks in the labor force during a year. To be classified as working, individuals must be employed or actively searching for work. The number of individuals under the poverty line was 37 million, or 12.7 percent, of the population in 2004. Of this population the U.S. Department of Labor estimates that 7.8 million individuals were classified as working poor, which represents an ...