A Profile of the Working Poor, 2006

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Report 1006, August 2008

In 2006, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 36.5 million people, or 12.3 percent of the population, lived at or below the official poverty threshold, roughly the same number as in 2005.1 The majority of the Nation’s poor were children and adults who had not participated in the labor force during the year. However, 7.4 million were among the working poor–those who spent 27 weeks or more in the labor force, working or looking for work, but whose incomes still fell below the official poverty level. These individuals represented 5.1 percent of all persons aged 16 years and older who were in the labor force for 27 weeks or more in 2006, down from 5.4 percent the previous year.

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