Statistics on the working poor

The working poor are employed people who live in households that fall below an accepted poverty line. While poverty in the developed world is often associated with unemployment, the extreme poverty that exists throughout much of the developing world is largely a problem of employed persons in these societies. For these poor workers, the problem is typically one of employment quality. Reducing poverty in line with the SDGs therefore necessitates boosting the employment opportunities and incomes of the working poor – those people who are employed, but who are nevertheless unable to lift themselves and their families above the poverty threshold.

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This research paper introduces a model for generating national estimates and projections of the distribution of the employed across five economic classes. The national estimates are used to produce aggregate estimates of employment by economic class for eight developing regions and for the developing world as a whole. 

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