Friday, January 20, 2012

Working Poor in the USA

Bill Quigley, Huffington Post:

"Our nation, so richly endowed with natural resources and with a capable and industrious population, should be able to devise ways and means of insuring to all our able-bodied men and women, a fair day's pay for a fair day's work." -- Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1937

Millions of people in the U.S. work and are still poor. Here are eight points that show why the U.S. needs to dedicate itself to making work pay.

One. How many people work and are still poor?

In 2011, the U.S. Department of Labor reported at least 10 million people worked and were still below the unrealistic official U.S. poverty line, an increase of 1.5 million more than the last time they checked. The U.S. poverty line is $18,530 for a mom and two kids. Since 2007 the numbers of working poor have been increasing. About 7 percent of all workers and 4 percent of all full-time workers earn wages that leave them below the poverty line.

Two. What kinds of jobs do the working poor have?

One third of the working poor, over 3 million people, work in the service industry. Workers in other occupations are also poor: 16 percent of those in farming; 11 percent in construction; and 11 percent in sales.

Three. Which workers are most likely to be working and still poor?

Women workers are more likely to be poor than men. African American and Hispanic workers are about twice as likely to be poor as whites. College graduates have a 2 percent poverty rate while workers without a high school diploma have a poverty rate 10 times higher at 20 percent.
Full article

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