Low Wage Jobs: Tools, Statistics, Resources

This section of Quintessential Careers is all about low-wage workers, sometimes referred to as the working poor. Find statistics, tools, resources, and more.

Quintessential Careers Low-Wage Job Resources:

Feature Article: Surviving and Moving Beyond Low-Wage Jobs: Solutions for an Invisible Workforce in America, by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.

Featured Tips: Low-Wage Worker Do’s and Don’ts.

Book Review: The Betrayal of Work: How Low Wage Jobs Fail 30 Million Americans, by Beth Shulman. Review by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.

Low-Wage Information/Statistics:

Ohter Low-Wage Jobs Online Resources:

Annie E. Casey Foundation Jobs Initiative — provides funding and support for community-based initiatives in five cities in order to help young, low-income workers find meaningful jobs and to identify national employment and training models to aid the working poor.

Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) — largest community organization of low and moderate-income families, with local chapters throughout the U.S.

CareerGear — a non-profit organization dedicated to helping low-income men and men struggling to get off public assistance to obtain and keep jobs by providing men with interview clothing, motivation and follow-up support that helps them get and keep jobs. Donations of suits (and more) accepted. No cost to job-seekers.

Corporate Voices for Working Families — a non-partisan, non-profit corporate membership organization created to bring the private sector voice into the public dialogue on issues affecting working families.

Economic Policy Institute (EPI) — a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank that seeks to broaden the public debate about strategies to achieve a prosperous and fair economy — with a focus on the living standards of working people.

Fairness Initiative on Low-Wage Work — a great resource for finding information and details about low-wage jobs and workers.

Jobs, Wages, and the Economy — a detailed overview of such issues as working conditions and safety, minimum wage, workers’ rights, and more — from the AFL-CIO.

Job Watch — tracks current trends in the U.S. labor market and offers up-to-date readings on its status, including state-by-state job trends.

Living Wage Resource Center — where you’ll find detailed information about the living wage movement and links to other living wage-related sites.

National Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice (NICWJ) — a network of people of faith that calls upon our religious values in order to educate, organize and mobilize the religious community in the U.S. on issues and campaigns that will improve wages, benefits and working conditions for workers, especially low-wage workers.

NPR: Profiles of Low-Wage America — profiles of the low-income workforce from NPR’s Noah Adams.

U.S. Census Bureau: Local Employment Dynamics — detailed information by state and county regarding employment information, including types of jobs available to less-skilled workers.

The Working Poor Picnic — a site that encourages support of low-wage workers and unemployed job-seekers through a variety of actions.

Low Wage Jobs/Low-Wage Workers Publications, Books

Here’s a collection of books on the subject of low-wage jobs and low-wage workers:

The Betrayal of Work: How Low-Wage Jobs Fail 30 Million Americans and Their Families, by Beth Shulman (New Press).

Getting By on the Minimum: The Lives of Working Class Women, by Jennifer Johson (Routledge).

The Living Wage: Building a Fair Economy, by Robert Pollin and Stephanie Luce (New Press).

Low-Wage America: How Employers Are Reshaping Opportunity in the Workplace. Eileen Appelbaum, Annette Bernhardt, and Richard J. Murnane, editors (Russell Sage Foundation).

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, by Barbara Ehrenreich (Owl Books).

Raise the Floor: Wages and Policies that Work For All of Us, by Holly Sklar, Laryssa Mykyta, and Susan Wefald (South End Press).

The Working Poor: Invisible in America, by David K. Shipler (Knopf).

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