Low-wage Workers: Poverty and Use of Selected Federal Social Safety Net Programs Persist among Working Families.

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Page Count
55
Year Published
2017
Author (Organization)
U. S. Government Accountability Office.
Resource Type
Report
Resource Format
PDF
According to GAO's analysis of data in the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey (CPS), on average, low-wage workers worked fewer hours per week, were more highly concentrated in a few industries and occupations, and had lower educational attainment than workers earning hourly wages above $16 in each year GAO reviewed-1995, 2000, 2005, 2010, 2015 and 2016. Their percentage of the U.S. workforce also stayed relatively constant over time. About 40 percent of the U.S. workforce ages 25 to 64 earned hourly wages of $16 or less (in constant 2016 dollars) over the period 1995 through 2016. The combination of low wages and few hours worked compounded the income disadvantage of low-wage workers and likely contributed to their potential eligibility for federal social safety net programs. (Author abstract)

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