Bureau of Labor Statistics

Dropouts most likely to be working poor

September 27, 2000

Lack of education and poverty are closely related among those in the labor force at least half the year.

Poverty rates for persons in the labor force 27 weeks or more by educational attainment, 1998
[Chart data—TXT]

In 1998, 14.5 percent of high school dropouts were among the working poor, more than double the poverty rate among workers with a high school diploma (6.6 percent).

Poverty rates were even lower for those with an associate degree (2.8 percent) and for college graduates (1.4 percent).

These data are a product of the Current Population Survey. The working poor are individuals who spent at least 27 weeks in the labor force (employed or unemployed), but whose family or personal incomes fell below the official poverty level. For more information, read BLS Report 944, A Profile of the Working Poor, 1998.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Dropouts most likely to be working poor at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2000/sept/wk4/art03.htm (visited January 19, 2022).

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