Bureau of Labor Statistics

Occupation and the working poor in 2002

October 26, 2004

The likelihood of being among the working poor varies widely by occupation.

Poverty rate by occupation of the longest job held, persons in labor force for 27 weeks or more, 2002
[Chart data—TXT]

Workers in occupations requiring higher education and characterized by relatively high earnings, such as management and professional occupations, were least likely to be classified as working poor (2.0 percent) in 2002.

On the other hand, persons employed in occupations that usually do not require high levels of education and that are characterized by relatively low earnings were more likely to be among the working poor. For example, 10.3 percent of service workers were classified as working poor in 2002. Service occupations, with 2.2 million working poor, accounted for 29.3 percent of all those classified as the working poor.

These data were collected in the 2003 Annual Social and Economic Supplement to the Current Population Survey. For more information see A Profile of the Working Poor, 2002, Report 976 (PDF 105K).


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Occupation and the working poor in 2002 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2004/oct/wk4/art02.htm (visited January 21, 2022).


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