A Third of Working Families Live in Near-Poverty

Recession has hurt more than just the unemployed
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 21, 2010 7:55 AM CST
A Third of Working Families Live in Near-Poverty
A woman stocks up on food at Sacred Heart Community Center's pantry in San Jose, Calif., Thursday, Sept. 16, 2010.   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Recession lamenters often focus on the unemployed, but the employed are taking a beating, too. Nearly one in three working families in America is now considered low income, meaning they earn less than twice the official poverty threshold, according to a report released today from the Working Poor Families Project. The number has increased in recent years thanks to layoffs and wage cuts, from 28% in 2007 to more than 30% last year.

The downturn has also forced more workers to accept sub-par jobs. “They’re no longer working actively, with a chance to advance and gain more experience and skills,” the report’s co-author tells the Huffington Post. “They’re just putting pieces together to stay afloat, to meet basic needs.” To get an idea what such an existence looks like, read HuffPo's interview with a low-income single mom. (More poverty stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.