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Occupation and the working poor in 2003

April 19, 2005

Workers in occupations that require higher education and are characterized by higher earnings are least likely to be among the working poor.

Poverty rate by occupation of the longest job held, persons in labor force for 27 weeks or more, 2003
[Chart data—TXT]

For instance, 2.0 percent of people employed in managerial, professional, and related occupations were classified as working poor in 2003.

By comparison, individuals employed in occupations that typically do not require high levels of education and are characterized by lower earnings are more likely to be among the working poor. About 2.2 million individuals or 30.1 percent of the working poor held service jobs in 2003. Their working poor rate, at 10.6 percent, was double the average for all workers.

The data were collected in the 2004 Annual Social and Economic Supplement to the Current Population Survey. For more information see A Profile of the Working Poor, 2003, Report 983 (PDF 75K). As defined in this report, the working poor are individuals who spent at least 27 weeks in the labor force (working or looking for work), but whose incomes fell below the official poverty level.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Occupation and the working poor in 2003 at (visited May 19, 2024).

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