April 16, 2002
Among those in the labor force for 27 weeks or more in 2000, about 6.4 million were classified as the working poor. The working poor thus made up 4.7 percent of all persons who spent at least 27 weeks working or looking for work.
Younger workers were more likely to be in poverty than were older workers. Among teenagers in the labor force 27 weeks or more, 9.2 percent were in poverty in 2000. This rate was roughly double that for workers aged 35-44 and more than triple that of those aged 45 to 54.
The proportion of women classified as working poor (5.5 percent) was higher than that among men (4.0 percent). Black and Hispanic workers continued to experience poverty at much higher rates than did whites.
The data in this report are from the Current Population Survey. As defined in this report, the working poor are individuals who spent at least 27 weeks in the labor force (working or looking for work), but whose incomes fell below the official poverty level. For more information on the working poor, see A Profile of the Working Poor, 2000 (BLS Report 957).