Brief On the Bottom Rung
A Profile of Americans in Low-Income Working Families
Gregory Acs, Katherin Ross Phillips
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One in six nonelderly Americans lives in families in which the adults work at least half-time on average but whose incomes fall below twice the federal poverty level. The primary earner in working low-income families typically works full-time, year-round. While the work effort of the primary earner in low-income working families matches that of higher-income families, other adults in these families work less. Even if all able-bodied adults ages 25-54 in these families worked full-time, we find that only about 20 percent of these families would increase their earnings to above 200 percent of the federal poverty line.
Research Areas Economic mobility and inequality Families Social safety net
Tags Poverty Income and wealth distribution