Interim Status Report on Research on the Outcomes of Welfare Reform. The Working Poor Population: Data Analysis on Definitions, Composition and Outcomes


With welfare reform we are likely to see not only an influx of low­skilled workers into the labor market, but also growth in the working poor population.  While much overlap exists between the working poor population and the low­wage/low­skilled worker population, some important distinctions remain.  This proposed data analysis project would examine the distinctions between the working poor population and the low­wage/low­skilled worker population (e.g., education level, skill level, family size, household composition, gender, marital status, industry of employment and hours/level of employment).  It would also compare the different definitions of the working poor population based on variations in the definition of worker, the poverty threshold, and total income.  For example, the working poor population could include workers who are neither low­skilled nor low­wage, but are not able to financially support their families due to family size, household composition, and/or the total number of workers in the family unit.  This project would also include analyses of other characteristics/“outcomes” of the working poor, such as fringe benefits associated with employment and welfare services used in conjunction with employment.