The Working Poor

November 3, 1995 • Volume 5, Issue 41
Will funding cuts make their future grimmer?
By Mary H. Cooper


The U.S. economy is in its fifth year of recovery. Profits are up, interest rates are under control and unemployment is low. But the glowing statistics tend to overshadow a troubling increase in the number of working Americans living in poverty. While higher-income workers have enjoyed a steady improvement in earnings, the poorest workers are losing ground. What's more, their prospects for climbing beyond the bottom rung of the career ladder are dimmer than ever, because advancement in the new technological age depends increasingly on skills most poor workers lack. As Congress prepares to enact cuts in social programs from Medicaid to welfare, the working poor may find new holes in the safety net of public programs they count on to make ends meet.

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