One Third of A Nation: Strategies for Helping Working Families
Author: Edward Rodrigue, Isabel Sawhill, Nathan Joo
Topic: Poverty issues
Publisher: The Brookings Institution
Location: United States
Format: Brief
Content Type: Research
Publication Date: May 31, 2016
The group we analyze throughout this paper is simply the poorest one-third of all families in the U.S. with an able-bodied head between the ages of 25 and 54 (hereafter struggling families or households). This group is larger than the population in poverty (although 83 percent of them fall below 200 percent of the federal poverty line, or FPL). All of them (by definition) are workingage (25 to 54) and able-bodied (that is, they do not report receiving disability benefits). We have focused on this group because we are interested in their connection to the labor market—or lack thereof. Do they have jobs? How much are they earning? How dependent are they on government benefits? And what might be done to help them climb the ladder and join the middle class?
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