A November 2005 report issued by the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) notes that “the number of children in low-income families with working parents is increasing, but low wages and lack of benefits continue to limit progress toward economic self-sufficiency.”
Among other findings,
Most children in low-income families have parents who are employed full-time and year-round.
- 55% of children in low-income families—14.9 million—have at least one parent who works full-time and year-round.
Most low-income parents who did not work at all last year were either disabled or taking care of their families.
- Almost half (46%) of low-income parents with no employment reported they were not working because they were taking care of their families.
- An additional 30% of low-income parents with no employment reported they were not working because they had an illness or disability that kept them from working.
Low-income parents who work are more likely to be employed in service occupations.
- Workers in service occupations are not only likely to have lower earnings and fewer opportunities for full-time employment, but they are also less likely to receive benefits such as health insurance, paid vacation, or holidays.
Another recent NCCP report, “Pathways to Early School Success: Helping the Most Vulnerable Infants, Toddlers, and Their Families,” highlights ten important strategies that communities can use to create positive outcomes for low-income families.