March 20, 2001
In 1999, some 6.8 million people were classified as the "working poor."
The number of such working poor was 362,000 fewer in 1999 than in 1998, continuing a 6-year downtrend. The working poverty rate was 5.1 percent in 1999, down 0.3 percentage point from the previous year.
These data are from the Current Population Survey. The working poor are individuals who spent at least 27 weeks in the labor force (either working or looking for work), but whose incomes fell below the official poverty level. The working poverty rate is the number of working poor divided by number of persons in the labor force for 27 weeks or more during the year. For more information, see BLS Report 947, A Profile of the Working Poor, 1999 (HTML) (PDF 60K).