April 12, 2005
The working poor rate—the ratio of the working poor to all individuals in the labor force at least 27 weeks—was 5.3 percent in 2003, unchanged from the rate reported in 2002.
The share of people classified as working poor was higher for women, 6.0 percent, than for men, 4.7 percent. The proportions for both groups were unchanged from the prior year.
As in earlier years, younger workers were more vulnerable to being poor than were older workers. High working-poor rates among younger workers largely reflect the lower earnings and higher rates of unemployment associated with having relatively little education and work experience. Among 16- to 19-year-olds, the working-poor rate was 9.4 percent in 2003 and among 20- to 24-year-olds, it was 10.0 percent.