Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

December 1992

Working and poor in 1990

Jennifer Gardner, Diane Herz

The proportion of workers living in poverty increased slightly, after remaining relatively constant during the late 1980's. Poverty among workers was usually linked to unemployment, involuntary part-time work, or, most often, low earnings. This article analyzes the incidence and causes of poverty among U.S. workers and their families using data for 1990, defining the "working poor" as persons who devoted more than half of the year to working or looking for work and who lived in families with incomes below the official poverty level.

Download PDF »