The working poor is working people whose incomes fall below a given poverty line . Depending on how one defines ” working ” and ” poverty ,” someone may or may not be counted as part of the working poor.
While poverty is often associated with joblessness, a significant proportion of the poor are actually employed.   Largely because they are earning such low wages, the working poor face many obstacles that make it difficult for many people to keep a job, save money, and maintain a sense of self-worth. 
The official working poverty rate in the United States has been somewhat reduced, but many social scientists argue that the rate of change is too low, and that the proportion of employees facing significant financial hardship has increased over the years. Changes in the economy, especially the shift from a manufacturing-based to a service-based economy , have resulted in the polarization of the labor market . This means that there are more jobs at the bottom of the income spectrum, but fewer jobs in the middle. 
There are a wide range of anti-poverty policies that have been shown to improve the situation of the working poor. Research suggests that increasing welfare state is the most effective way to reduce poverty and poverty.   Other tools available to governments to increase the burden of child labor.
Conceptualizing working poverty
In the United States, the issue of working poverty was initially brought to the attention of the public during the Progressive Era (1890s-1920s). Progressive Era thinkers like Robert Hunter , Jane Addams , and WEB of the Wood Saw Society, a poor opportunity for poverty and poverty. In his study of Philadelphia’s African American neighborhoods, WEB Du Bois draws a distinction between “hardworking” poor people who fail to escape poverty and poverty. 
After the Great Depression , the New Deal , and World War II , the United States During this period (1930s-1950s), scholars shifted their attention away from poverty and working poverty. However, in the late 1950s and early 1960s American scholars and policymakers began to revisit the problem. Influential books like John Kenneth Galbraith ‘s The Affluent Society (1958)  and Michael Harrington ‘s The Other America (1962)  reinvigorated the discussions on poverty and working poverty in the United States.
Since the beginning of the War on Poverty in the 1960s, scholars and policymakers on both ends of the spectrum have paid increasing attention to working poverty. One of the key ongoing debates concerning the distinction between the working and the nonworking (unemployed) poor. Conservative scholars tend to see nonworking as they are more likely to work because they believe that non-work is a moral hazard that leads to welfare dependency and laziness, that is, even poorly paid work, is morally beneficial. In order to solve the problem of nonworking poverty, some conservative scholars argue that the government must stop “coddling” the poor with welfare benefits like AFDC / TANF . 
On the other hand, liberal scholars and policymakers often argue that most working and nonworking poor people are quite similar. It does not matter what the situation is. The main difference between the working and the nonworking poor, they argue, is that the nonworking poor has a more difficult time to overcome barriers to entry into the labor market, such as arranging for affordable childcare, transportation to and from work. In the labor market, liberal scholars and policymakers argue that the government should provide support for child care, and other types of families. 
Discussions about the alleviation of working poverty are also politically charged. Conservative scholars and policymakers often attribute the prevalence of inequality and working poverty to overregulation and overtaxation, which they claim constricts job growth. In order to lower the rate of working poverty.   On the other hand, many liberals argue that working poverty can only be solved through increased, not decreased, government intervention. This government intervention could include workplace reforms (such as higher minimum wages, living wage laws, job training programs, etc.) and an increase in government transfers (such as housing, food, childcare, and healthcare subsidies).   
Measuring working poverty
According to the US Department of Labor , the working poor is working in the labor force, but where does it come from? . ”  In other words, if someone spent more than half of the year in the labor force , the US Department of Labor would classify them as “working poor.” (Note: The official poverty threshold, which is set by the US Census Bureau, varies depending on the size of a family and the US Bureau of Labor Statisticscalculating working rates for all working individuals, all families with at least one worker, and all “unrelated individuals.” The individual-level working poverty rate calculates the percentage of all workers whose incomes fall below the poverty threshold. In 2009, the individual-level working poverty rate was 7%, compared to 4.7% in 2000. The family-level working poverty is only one of two or more categories of marriage, or marriage, or adoption. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ definition of family-level working poverty, a family is working poor if the combined cash income of the family falls below the poverty threshold for a family of their size. In 2009, the family-level working poverty was 7.9%, compared to 5.6% in 2000. Finally, the unrelated individual working poverty rate measures working poverty among those who do not currently live with any family members. In 2009, 11.7% of employed unrelated individuals were poor, compared to 7.6% in 2000. 
In Europe and other non-US, high-income countries, poverty and working poverty are defined in relative terms. A relative measure of poverty is based on a country’s income distribution rather than an absolute amount of money. Eurostat , the statistical office of the European Union , a household income index of 60 percent of the country’s median household income. According to Eurostat, a relative measure of poverty is appropriate because it is generally considered to be a poor country. 
When conducting cross-national research on working poverty, In these studies, to be classified as “working poor,” a household must satisfy the following two conditions: 1) at least one member of the household must be “working” (and can be defined in various ways), and 2) the total household income must be less than 60% (50% gold, 40% gold) from the median income for that country.  Brady, Fullerton, and Cross’s 2010 cross-national study on working poverty in high-income countries (1) it has at least one employed person and 2) the total household income falls below 50% of the median income for that country. According to this relative definition, the US’s working poverty rate was 11% in the year 2000, nearly double the rate produced by the US government’s absolute definition. For the same year, Canada’s working poverty was 7.8%, the UK was 4%, and Germany’s was 3.8%. 
Prevalence and trends
Poverty is often associated with joblessness, but a large proportion of poor people are actually working or looking for work. In 2009, 8.8 million US families were below the poverty line (11.1% of all families). Of these families, 5.19 million, or 58.9%, had at least one person who was classified as working. In the same year, there were 11.7 million unrelated individuals (people who do not live with family members) whose incomes fell below the poverty line (22% of all unrelated individuals). 3.9 million of these poor individuals, or 33%, were part of the working poor.  $ 226,920 last year (not including college), according to the US Department of Agriculture. That’s up nearly 40% – or more than $ 60,000 – from 10 years ago. Just one year of spending $ 13,830 in 2010, compared to $ 9,860 a decade ago.
Using the US Census Bureau’s definition of poverty, the working poverty rate seems to have been relatively stable since 1978.  However, many scholars have argued that the poverty rate is still low and that for many workers over the past three or four decades. Social scientists like Arne KallebergThey have found that the decline in US manufacturing and the subsequent polarization of the labor market, job stability, and working conditions for people with lower skill levels and less formal education. From the mid-1940s to the mid-1970s, manufacturing jobs offered many low-skilled and medium-skilled stable workers, well-paying jobs. Due to global competition, technological advances, and other factors, US manufacturing jobs have disappeared for decades. (From 1970 to 2008, the percentage of the labor force employed in the manufacturing sector shrank from 23.4% to 9.1%.  ) During this period of decline, job growth has become polarized on the end of the labor market. That is, the jobs that have been replaced by high-paying jobs, low-skill jobs and low-skill jobs. Therefore, many low-to-medium-skilled workers who would have been able to work in the service sector. 
US compared to Europe
Other high-income countries have also had some experience in the United States. Labor market polarization has been the most severe in liberal market economies like the US, Britain, and Australia. Countries like Denmark and France have been subject to their more “inclusive” (or “egalitarian”) labor market institutions, they have experienced less polarization . 
Cross-national studies have found that European countries’ working poverty rates are much lower than the US’s. Most of this difference can be explained by the fact that European countries are more generous than the US.   The relationship between general welfare states and low rates of working poverty is elaborated upon in “Risk Factors” and “Anti-Poverty Policies” sections.
The following graphs from Brady, Fullerton, and Cross (2010) to show the poverty. Brady, Fullerton, and Cross (2010), this income through the Luxembourg Income Study . This graph measures household, rather than person-level, poverty rates. A household is coded as “poor” if its income is less than 50% of its country’s median income. This is a relative, rather than absolute, measure of poverty. A household is classified as “working” if at least one member of the household was employed at the time of the survey. The most important insight in this graph is that the US has significantly higher employment rates than European countries.
There are five major categories of risk factors that increase the likelihood of experiencing poverty: sectoral factors, demographic factors, economic factors, labor market institutions, and welfare generosity. Working poverty is a phenomenon that is affected by a large number of people, but there are some employment sectors, demographic groups, and economic factors that are correlated with higher rates of working poverty than others. Sectoral and demographic factors help explain why certain people are more likely to be working poorly. Political and economic factors may be different.
is not distributed among employment sectors. The service sector has the highest rate of working poverty. In fact, 13.3% of US service sector workers in the area of low-wage workers include:  Examples of low-wage service sector workers include fast-food workers, home health workers, waiters / waitresses, and retail workers.
Although the sector has the highest rate of working poverty, a significant portion of the working poor are blue-collar workers in manufacturing, agriculture, and construction industries. Most manufacturing jobs, but manufacturing job quality has declined over the years. Nowadays, many US manufacturing jobs are located in right-to-work states , where it is nearly impossible for workers to form a union. This means that they are able to pay less than they are.
In her book, No Shame in My Game , Katherine Newman finds That “[t] he nation’s young, ict single parents, the poorly educated, and minorities are More Likely than other workers to be poor” (p. 42).  These factors, being part of a large household, being part of a household, being female, and having a part-time (instead of a full-time) poverty “risk factors.” Immigrant workers and self-employed workers are also more likely to be working poor than other types of workers.  
There is a widespread assumption that economic growth leads to tighter labor markets and higher wages. However, the evidence suggests that economic growth does not always benefit each part of the population. For example, the 1980s was a period of economic growth and prosperity in the United States, but most of the economic gains were concentrated on the top of the income spectrum. This means that the world of the labor market did not benefit from the economic gains of the 1980s. In fact, many have argued that low-skilled workers experienced declining prosperity in the 1980s.  Therefore, changing economic conditions do not have as wide of an impact on working poverty rates as one might expect.
Labor market institutions
Labor markets can be egalitarian, efficient, or somewhere in the middle. According to Brady, Fullerton, and Cross (2010), “[e] fficient labor markets typically feature flexibility, low unemployment, and higher economic growth, and facilitate the rapid hiring and firing of workers. institutions, higher wages, and greater security “(p562). The United States has an efficient labor market, most European countries have egalitarian labor markets. Each system has its drawbacks, but the egalitarian labor market model is typically associated with poverty. One tradeoff to this is that the “lowest skilled and least employable” people are sometimes excluded from an equal labor market, If the United States is operating in an efficient economy, it may have increased its welfare state with a higher unemployment rate.
Centralized wage bargaining is a key component of egalitarian labor markets. In a country with centralized wage bargaining institutions, wages for the industry are negotiated at the national or national level. This means that similar to similar earnings, which reduces income inequality. Lohmann (2009) finds that countries with centralized wage bargaining institutions of “pre-transfer” working poverty.  The “pre-transfer” working poverty rate is the percentage of workers Who fall below the poverty threshold based on Their wages earned (not counting government transfers ).
Welfare state generosity
Cross-national studies are in agreement that the most important factor is working poverty rates is welfare state generosity. A generous welfare state, social security, family assistance, childcare subsidies, healthcare subsidies, housing subsidies, transportation subsidies, and food subsidies. These same types of government can be found in many countries, even if they earn low wages. Lohmann’s 2009 study shows that welfare state has a significant impact on the “post-transfer” rate of working poverty.  The “post-transfer” rate of working poverty is the percentage of employment that falls below the poverty line.
Different types of transfers different types of low-wage families. Family benefits will be included in the cost of living. Transfers such as old-age benefits are unlikely to benefit households in the same household. Sometimes, even when benefits are available, those who qualify do not take advantage of them. Migrants in particular are less likely to take advantage of the available benefits. 
Obstacles to uplift
The working poor face many of the same everyday life struggles as the nonworking poor, but they also face some unique hurdles. Some studies, many of them qualitative , provide insights into the obstacles that hinder workers’ ability to find jobs, keep jobs, and make ends meet. Some of the most common struggles faced by the working poor, finding employment, arranging childcare, having a work order, juggling two or more jobs, and coping with low-status work.
Working poor people who do not have friends or whom they can live with. Although the working poor are employed at least some of the time, they often find it difficult to save money for a deposit on a rental property. As a result, many working poor people end up in living situations that are actually more expensive than a month-to-month rental. For instance, many working poor people, especially those who are in some kind of transitional phase. These motel rooms tend to cost much more than a traditional rental, but they are accessible to the working poor because they do not require a large deposit. If someone is unable to pay for a room in a motel, they might live in his home, or a homeless shelter, or on the street. This is not a marginal phenomenon; In fact, according to the 2008 US Conference of Mayors, one in five people are currently employed.
Of course, some working poor people are able to access housing subsidies (such as a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher ) to help cover their housing expenses. However, these housing subsidies are not available to everyone who meets the Section 8 income specifications. In fact, less than 25% of people who qualify for housing subsidy receive one. 
The issue with education starts many times with the work of poor children and follows them in their struggle for a substantial income. Children growing up in families of the working poor are not provided the same educational opportunities as their middle-class counterpart. In many cases the low income is filled with schooling that is lacking necessities and support needed to form a solid education. This follows students as they continue in education. In many cases this hinders the possibility for America’s youth to continue on to higher education. The grades and credits are not attained in many cases, and the lack of guidance in the schools leaves the children of the working poor with no degree. Also, the lack of funds for continuing education causes these children to fall behind. In many cases, their parents did not continue to do so because of their parents. This is a requirement for a high school degree, and it is a low skill level that usually requires a high school degree or GED. The inequality in education continues the vicious cycle of families entering the working poor.
the fact that many working people can not afford to drive their cars, where they live where they are able to work, and vice versa.  Given the fact that public transportation in many US cities is sparse, expensive, or non-existent, this is a particularly troublesome obstacle. Some working poor people are able to use their social networks if they are to meet their transportation needs. In a study on low-income single moms, Edin and Lein found that single mothers who had someone to drive them to. 
Like the unemployed poor, the working poor struggle for basic necessities like food, clothing, housing, and transportation. In some cases, however, the working poor’s basic expenses may be higher than the unemployed poor’s. For instance, the working poor’s clothing may be higher than the unemployed because of their uniforms.  Also, because the working poor are spending much of their time at work, they may not have the time to prepare their own food. In this case, they may frequently resort to eating fast food , which is less expensive and more expensive than home-prepared food. 
Working poor parents with young children, especially single parents, face significantly more childcare-related barriers than other people. Often, childcare costs can exceed a low-wage earners’ income, making work, especially in a job with no potential for advancement, an economically illogical activity.   However, some single parents are able to rely on their social networks to provide free or below-market-cost childcare.  There are also some childcare options provided by the government, such as the Head Start Program. However, these free options are only available during certain hours, which may limit parents’ ability to take jobs that require late-night shifts.The US “average” seems to suggest that for one toddler, in full-time day care, on weekdays , the cost is approximately $ 600.00 per month. The goal is to make $ 1,000.00 per month in major metro areas, and $ 350 in rural areas. The average cost of living in the United States is $ 11,666 per year ($ 972 per month), but prices range from $ 3,582 to $ 18,773 a year ($ 300 to $ 1,564 monthly), according to the National Association of Child Care Resources & Referral Agencies (NACCRRA). 
Many low-wage jobs force workers to accept irregular schedules. In fact, some employers will not hire anyone unless they have “open availability,” which means being available to work any time, any day.  This makes it difficult for workers to settle for childcare and to take a second job. In addition, working poor people’s working hours can fluctuate wildly from one week to the next, making it difficult for them to budget effectively and save up money. 
Many low-wage workers have to work multiple jobs in order to make ends meet. In 1996, 6.2 percent of the workforce held two or more full-or part-time jobs. Most of these people held two part-time jobs or one part-time job and one full-time job, but 4% of men and 2% of women held two full-time jobs at the same time.  This can be done in the first place. 
Many low-wage service jobs require a great deal of customer service. Although not all customer service jobs are low-wage or low-status,  many of them are. Some argue [ who? ] Que la Nature of Some low status jobs can-have negative psychological effects are workers,  aims others argued That low status workers come up with coping Mechanisms That allow Them to Maintain a strong sense of self-worth.   One of these coping mechanisms is called boundary work. Boundary work is a group of people who value their own social position by For example, Newman (1999) found that fast food workers in New York City cope with the low-status nature of their job by self-employed, who they perceive to be even lower-status than themselves.  Thus, the low-status nature of working poor people may have some negative psychological effects, some, but probably not all, of these negative effects can be counteracted through coping mechanisms such as boundary work.
Scholars, policymakers, and others have come up with a variety of proposals for reducing poverty. Most of these proposals are directed to the United States, but they may also be relevant to other countries. The remainder of the section outlines the pros and cons of the most commonly proposed solutions.
Welfare state generosity
Cross-national studies like Lohmann (2009) and Brady, Fullerton, and Cross (2010) Clearly show That countries with generous welfare states -have lower levels of working poverty than countries with less-generous welfare states, Even When factors like demography, economic performance , and labor market institutions are taken into account. Having a generous welfare state in a state of poverty, the government is willing to accept, and it pulls a large portion of low-wage workers out of poverty by providing them with an array of cash and non-cash government benefits. Many think that increasing the United States’ welfare state generosity would lower the working poverty rate. A common criticism of this proposal is that it would have stagnated the economy, raise unemployment, and degrade people’s work ethic.  However, as of 2011 , most European countries have a lower unemployment ratethan the US. Moreover, the Western European economies’ growth rates are more stable, while the US is tending to fluctuate relatively severely. Individual states offer financial assistance for child care. Most assistance is provided through the Child Care and Development Block Grants. Check here to find the contact information for your state. Many subsidies have strict income guidelines for children with children under 13 (the age limit is often extended if the child has a disability). Many subsidies permit home-based care, but some only accept a day care center, so check the requirements. If you need to use an authorized provider, ask if they will be able to help you.
Some states distribute funds through social or health departments (like this one in Washington State). For example, The Children ‘s Office in Nevada can refer to families to provide services, help them apply for funding and can even help families. North Carolina’s Smart Start is a public / private partnership that offers funding for child care. Check the National Women’s Law Center for each state’s child care assistance policy. 
Wages and benefits
In the conclusion of her book, Nickel and Dimed (2001), Barbara Ehrenreich argues that Americans need to improve their compensation.  Generally speaking, this implies a need to strengthen the labor movement . Interestingly, cross-national statistical studies on working with poverty. The labor movements in various countries have been established by political parties or non-labor parties, where a striving for a minimum wagein place. The federal government offers a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) that is administered through workplaces.
If your job offers an FSA (also known as a Dependent Care Account), you can get up to $ 5,000 in per-tax dollars to pay for child care expenses. If both you and your spouse have an FSA, the family limit is $ 5,000 – but you could get as much as $ 2,000 in tax savings if your combined contributions reach the maximum. 
Education and training
Some argue [ who? ] that more vocational training , especially in growth industries like healthcare and renewable energy, is the solution to working poverty. To be sure, the fact remains that the low-wage sector is a rapidly growing part of the US economy. Even if more nursing and clean energy jobs were added to the economy, there would still be a huge portion of the workforce in low-wage service like retail, food service, and cleaning. Therefore, it seems clear that it will be more effective in the future, and future, population of service sector workers.
Child support assurance
Given the fact that such a large proportion of working poor households are headed by a single parent, it would be necessary to make sure that children share the cost of child rearing. In cases where the father can not provide child support, like Irwin Garfinkeladvocacy for the implementation of a child support guarantee, the government of the country childcare costs if the father can not. Child support is not always a guarantee if the father or mother does not work. For example, if the parent with custody is not working then the parent is not working . Also, the government does not pay for childcare
Households with two wage-earners have a much lower rate of employment than those with only one wage-earner. Also, with two adults, but only one wage-earner, have lower working poverty rates than adults. Therefore, it seems clear that having two adults in a household, especially if there are children present, is more likely to keep a household out of poverty than having a household. Many scholars and policymakers have used this fact to encourage them to get married and stay in poverty. However, this is easier said than done. Research has shown that low-income people are more often than not Therefore, unless the employment opportunity structure is improved, it simply increases the number of marriages among low-income people.
Ultimately, effective solutions to working poverty are multifaceted. Each of the United States, but they could have a greater impact if at least a few of them were pursued simultaneously.
- Income inequality
- Wage slavery
- Moonlight clan
- Family wage
- Living wage
- Employment discrimination
- Wage theft
- Social inequality
- Maximum wage
- Guaranteed minimum income
- Wages and wages
- Income distribution
- List of countries by average wage
- Employment-to-population ratio
- List of countries by employment rate
- List of OECD countries by job security
- List of countries by GDP (PPP) per capita
Notes and references
- ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f US Office of Labor Statistics. “A Profile of the Working Poor, 2009” (PDF) . US Department of Labor . Retrieved 2011-10-20 .
- ^ Jump up to:a b DeNavas-Walt, Carla; Bernadette D. Proctor; Jessica C. Smith. “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2009″(PDF) . US Census Bureau . Retrieved 14 December2011 .
- ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g h i j Ehrenreich, Barbara (2001). Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America . New York: Holt Paperbacks. ISBN 0-8050-8838-5 .
- ^ Jump up to:a b c Kalleberg, Arne (2011). Good Jobs, Bad Jobs: The Rise of Polarized and Precarious Employment Systems in the United States . New York: Russell Sage Foundation. ISBN 0-87154-431-8 .
- ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g h i Lohmann Henning (2009). “Welfare States, Labor Market Institutions and the Working Poor: A Comparative Analysis of 20 European Countries” . European Sociological Review . 25 (4): 489-504. doi : 10.1093 / esr / jcn064 . Retrieved 5 November 2011 .
- ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g Brady, David; Andrew Fullerton; Jennifer Moren Cross (2010). “More Than Just Nickels and Dimes: A Cross-National Analysis of Working Poverty in Affluent Democracies” (PDF) . Social Problems . 57 (4): 559-585. doi : 10.1525 / sp.2010.57.4.559 . PMID 20976971 . Retrieved 5 November 2011 .
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- Jump up^ Harrington, Michael (1962) . The Other America: Poverty in the United States . New York: Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0-684-82678-X .
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- Jump up^ Blank, Rebecca (1991). “Why Were Poverty Rates So High in the 1980s?” (PDF) . NBER Working Paper No.3878 .
- Jump up^ US Conference of Mayors. “2008 Status Report on Hunger & Homelessness” (PDF) . Retrieved 22 November 2011 .
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