Many people assume that having a steady, full-time job is enough to at least keep someone living in a decent manner, but as this special report notes, that’s not necessarily true. The shocking reality is that at least 10% of people with a full-time job are still living in poverty.
A good job may be hard to find in this tepid recovery, but low-wage work still abounds. Whether it’s washing dishes, serving Big Macs or folding sweaters for a store display, low-paying jobs have been added to the American economy at a fairly brisk clip since the recession ended in 2009. Middle- and high-paying jobs, not so much.
By one estimate, one in four private-sector jobs in the U.S. now pays less than $10 per hour, well below a living wage in many areas of the country. Compared to better-paying positions, these jobs are also more likely to come without regular schedules or benefits, like health care coverage, paid vacation time or sick leave — the basic trappings of middle-class work. In other words, employment doesn’t guarantee a life above the poverty line; according to census data, more than one in 10 Americans who work full-time are still poor.