ERIC Number: ED388771
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Oct
Working but Poor in America. AFL-CIO Reviews the Issues. Report No. 84.
In 1993, 10.4 million people were classified as being among the working poor. Of those individuals living in poverty, 2.4 million worked year round at full-time jobs and 7.4 million lived in a household containing someone who was employed full time throughout the year. A U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report identified low earnings, involuntary part-time work, and unemployment as three key reasons for poverty. Another study established that the percentage of workers with low earnings rose from 12% of all year-round, full-time civilian workers aged 16 or over in 1979 to 16% in 1992. Among the identified causes of the rise were the following: steady erosion of wages in the United States, unemployment and underemployment, rise of low-wage service jobs and parallel decline in well-paying manufacturing jobs, restructuring of industry, and decline of pension and health insurance coverage. Although there is no panacea for poverty or the working poor, the following policy measures would make a big difference: strengthen labor laws, adopt national policies aimed at preserving high-wage manufacturing jobs, increase the minimum wage, retain existing employment and training and safety-net programs, retain a progressive tax policy, and fund education adequately. (MN)
Descriptors: Change Strategies, Economic Factors, Employment Patterns, Employment Practices, Fringe Benefits, Income, Minimum Wage, Part Time Employment, Poverty, Public Policy, Tax Rates, Trend Analysis, Underemployment, Unemployment, Working Poor
AFL-CIO Publications and Materials Office, 815 16th Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20006.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, Washington, DC.