U.S. Working Poor Population Grows, As Families Struggle To Pay The Bills
(Reuters) – The number of U.S. families struggling with poverty despite parents being employed continued to grow in 2011 as more people returned to work but mostly at lower-paying service jobs, an analysis released on Tuesday shows.
More working parents have taken jobs as cashiers, maids, waiters and other low-wage jobs in fast growing sectors that offer fewer hours and benefits, according to The Working Poor Project, a privately funded effort aimed at improving economic security for low-income families.
The result is 200,000 more such working families – the so-called “working poor” – emerged in 2011 than in 2010, according to the report, based on analysis of the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data.
About 10.4 million such families – or 47.5 million Americans – now live near poverty, defined as earning less than 200 percent of the official poverty rate, which is $22,811 for a family of four.