Bureau of Labor Statistics

Rate of working poor unchanged in 2003

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.

Poverty rate, persons in the labor force for 27 weeks or more, 1992-2003
[Chart data—TXT]

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.

These data were collected in the 2004 Annual Social and Economic Supplement to the Current Population Survey. For more information see A Profile of the Working Poor, 2003, Report 983 (PDF 75K).


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Rate of working poor unchanged in 2003 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2005/apr/wk2/art02.htm (visited January 23, 2022).


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