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U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Employment and unemployment among youth - Summer 2018

Individual Author: 
Bureau of Labor Statistics

From April to July 2018, the number of employed youth 16 to 24 years old increased by 2.0 million to 20.9 million, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This year, 55.0 percent of young people were employed in July, little changed from a year earlier. (The month of July typically is the summertime peak in youth employment.) The unemployment rate for youth was 9.2 percent in July, also little changed from July 2017.

Underemployment among Hispanics: The case of involuntary part-time work

Individual Author: 
Young, Justin R.
Mattingly, Marybeth J.

The unemployment rate, a leading indicator of the nation’s economic health, has fallen steadily in the wake of the Great Recession of 2007–09. However, other indicators of labor force strength paint a more complex picture of how workers are faring economically. In this article, we use 1971–2014 data from the Current Population Survey to examine temporal changes in involuntary part-time work—an increasingly common type of underemployment. Our analysis identifies several shifts in involuntary part-time work, including high rates of such work among Hispanic workers since the late 1980s.

Developing poverty thresholds using expenditure data

Individual Author: 
Johnson, David
Shipp, Stephanie
Garner, Thesia

A recent study by researchers at the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Bureau of the Census, replicated the Panel’s work, estimated experimental thresholds using CE data and revised the resource measure. The study found that changes in the Panel’s proposed thresholds and their experimental thresholds (based on various definitions of a minimum expenditure bundle) appear to be similar over the time period covered. The study also found that poverty rates based on these thresholds followed trends over time that are similar to trends in the current official poverty measure.

A profile of the working poor, 2013

Individual Author: 
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

In 2013, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 45.3 million people, or 14.5 percent of the nation’s population, lived below the official poverty level… Although the poor were primarily children and adults who had not participated in the labor force during the year, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10.5 million individuals were among the “working poor” in 2013; this measure was little different from 2012.

What does it mean to be poor in America?

Individual Author: 
Federman, Maya
Short, Kathleen
Cutter IV, W Bowman
Kiely, John
Levine, David
McDough, Duane
McMillen, Marilyn

To understand the relationship between poverty and living conditions, a multifaceted understanding of what it means to be poor is required. In one sense, the answer to the questions "What does it mean to be poor?" is straightforward - having cash income below the official poverty line for a given family size. In a broader sense, the living conditions of the poor are difficult to measure, both because annual cash income is only one factor related to living conditions, and because the poor are quite heterogeneous. 

Personal assessments of minimum income and expenses: What do they tell us about 'minimum living' thresholds and equivalence scales?

Individual Author: 
Garner, Thesia I.
Short, Kathleen

Subjective minimum income (MIQ) and minimum spending (MSQ) are the study focus. Basic Needs Module (1995) data from the U.S. Survey of Income and Program Participation are analyzed. A regression intersection approach is used to estimate household thresholds. MIQ thresholds are higher than MSQ thresholds. Both are higher than U.S. official poverty thresholds, and thresholds based on a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) methodology. Subjective threshold based equivalence scales imply greater economies of scale than those in the other two measures but are similar to behavioral scales.

Supplemental Poverty Measure thresholds: Imputing school lunch and WIC benefits to the Consumer Expenditure Survey using Current Population Survey

Individual Author: 
Garner, Thesia I.
Hokayem, Charles

In March 2010 an Interagency Technical Working Group (ITWG) released guidelines on thresholds and resources for a Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM). The ITWG recommended that thresholds include in-kind benefits that are accounted for in resources; however, only limited in-kind benefit information is available in the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE) Interview component, the data source upon which the thresholds are based.

The Supplemental Poverty Measure: A joint project between the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Individual Author: 
Short, Kathleen S.
Garner, Thesia I.

The Census Bureau released a report in November of 2011 with Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) estimates for calendar year 2010. This report represented a joint effort between the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).BLS has responsibility for developing expenditure-based SPM poverty thresholds using the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE).