Age and the working poor

January 26, 2004

Young workers are more vulnerable to poverty than those in other age groups, partly because their earnings are lower and they are more likely to be unemployed than older workers.

Poverty status of persons in the labor force for 27 weeks or more, by age, 2001
[Chart data—TXT]

Among the youth who were in the labor force for 27 weeks or more in 2001, 10.4 percent of 16-to 19-year olds and 9.9 percent of 20-to 24-year-olds lived in families which had total incomes lower than the poverty line. These rates were more than double the rate for workers aged 35 to 44 (4.3 percent), and more than triple the rate for workers 45 to 54 years of age (2.9 percent).

These data were collected in the 2002 Annual Social and Economic Supplement to the Current Population Survey. For more information, see "The working poor in 2001," by Abraham T. Mosisa, Monthly Labor Review, November/December 2003.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Age and the working poor on the Internet at (visited September 28, 2016).


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