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ERIC Number: ED448216
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Oct
Pages: 9
Abstractor: N/A
On the Bottom Rung: A Profile of Americans in Low-Income Working Families. New Federalism: Issues and Options for States. Series A, No. A-42. Assessing the New Federalism: An Urban Institute Program To Assess Changing Social Policies.
Acs, Gregory; Phillips, Katherin Ross; McKenzie, Daniel
This brief uses data from the 1997 National Survey of America's Families to count the number of people living in low-income working families and to describe their personal characteristics and jobs. It examines: what low-income working families are; who the family members are; and how much low-income workers work and at what jobs. One in six nonelderly Americans lives in a working low-income family (having income below twice the federal poverty level and all adults working at least half-time). Almost two-thirds of low-income families include children and two adults. The major differences between incomes of working low-income families and higher-income families are substantially lower hourly earnings plus fewer secondary workers and lower work effort among secondary workers. If all prime-age adults worked full-time, full-year, about one-fifth of working low-income families would become higher-income families, and more than one-third of other low-income families would become working low-income families. Even if policies promoting work successfully increase work effort, many people will still live in working low-income families. Lifting working families above the poverty level requires better wages and work supports. (SM)
Urban Institute, 2100 M Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 202-261-5687; Fax: 202-467-5775; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Annie E. Casey Foundation, Baltimore, MD.; Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek, MI.; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Princeton, NJ.; Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Menlo Park, CA.; Ford Foundation, New York, NY.; John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Chicago, IL.; Mott (C.S.) Foundation, Flint, MI.; David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Los Altos, CA.; McKnight Foundation, Minneapolis, MN.; Commonwealth Fund, New York, NY.; Weingart Foundation, Los Angeles, CA.; Fund for New Jersey, East Orange.; Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Milwaukee, WI.; Joyce Foundation, Chicago, IL.; Rockefeller Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: Urban Inst., Washington, DC.
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
Note: Funding also provided by the Stuart Foundation.