November 03, 2004
The poverty rate for all families with only one member in the labor force was 12.5 percent in 2002.
For families with one member in the labor force for 27 weeks or more, married-couple families had a lower incidence of poverty (8.1 percent) than did either families maintained by single women (21.5 percent) or families maintained by men with no spouse present (11.8 percent). This was true regardless of which member of the married-couple family was in the labor force.
The poverty threshold for families reflects both the total family income and the number of family members. The more workers a family has, the higher its income is likely to be and, therefore, the less likely the family is to be living below the poverty line. For example, only 0.8 percent of families with three or more members in the labor force for 27 weeks or more and 2.0 percent of families with two such labor force participants were among the working poor in 2002.