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Rate of working poor up in 2004

June 19, 2006

The working poor rate—the ratio of the working poor to all individuals in the labor force at least 27 weeks—was 5.6 percent in 2004, a 0.3-percentage-point increase from the prior year.

Poverty rate, persons in the labor force for 27 weeks or more, 1992-2004
[Chart data—TXT]

Although working full-time (35 or more hours per week) substantially lowers a person’s probability of being poor, a majority (58.4 percent) of the working poor usually worked full time. Still, full-time workers were less likely than part-time workers to be considered working poor: in 2004, 3.9 percent of all persons who spent 27 or more weeks in the labor force and usually worked full time were classified as working poor, compared with 11.6 percent of usual part-time workers.

These data were collected in the 2005 Annual Social and Economic Supplement to the Current Population Survey. For more information see A Profile of the Working Poor, 2004, Report 994 (PDF 87K).


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Rate of working poor up in 2004 at (visited May 21, 2024).

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