The working poor are working people whose incomes fall below a given poverty line. Depending on how one defines "working" and "poverty," someone may or may not be counted as part of the working poor.
While poverty is often associated with joblessness, a significant proportion of the poor are actually employed. Largely because they are earning such low wages, the working poor face numerous obstacles that make it difficult for many of them to find and keep a job, save up money, and maintain a sense of self-worth.
The official working poverty rate in the US has remained somewhat static over the past four decades, but many social scientists argue that the official rate is set too low, and that the proportion of workers facing significant financial hardship has instead increased over the years. Changes in the economy, especially the shift from a manufacturing-based to a service-based economy, have resulted in the polarization of the labor market. This means that there are more jobs at the top and the bottom of the income spectrum, but fewer jobs in the middle.
There are a wide range of anti-poverty policies that have been shown to improve the situation of the working poor. Research suggests that increasing welfare state generosity is the most effective way to reduce poverty and working poverty.Other tools available to governments are increasing minimum wages across a nation, and absorbing educational and health care costs for children of the working poor.
Folder: Daily Life
Uploaded: Nov 13, 2016
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