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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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The SSRC Library includes resources which may be available only via journal subscription. The SSRC may be able to provide users without subscription access to a particular journal with a single use copy of the full text.  Please email the SSRC with your request.

The SSRC Library collection is constantly growing and new research is added regularly. We welcome our users to submit a library item to help us grow our collection in response to your needs.


  • Individual Author: Karpman, Michael; Hahn, Heather; Gangopadhyaya, Anuj
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    Since 2017, policymakers have sought to establish or expand work requirements for participants in federal safety net programs. These policies generally require non-disabled adults to work or participate in work-related activities for a minimum number of hours per week or month to continue receiving benefits. Program participants must navigate these requirements within a low-wage job market in which just-in-time scheduling practices have resulted in unstable and unpredictable work hours for many employees.

    Using data from the December 2018 Well-Being and Basic Needs Survey, we examined the prevalence of precarious work schedules among working adults whose families participate in federal safety net programs in the past year, focusing on four key areas: nonstandard work shift schedules, fluctuation in weekly hours worked, advance notice of work schedules, and control over work schedules. We find that safety net program participants’ work schedules are structured in ways that would place these workers at risk of transitioning in and out of compliance with...

    Since 2017, policymakers have sought to establish or expand work requirements for participants in federal safety net programs. These policies generally require non-disabled adults to work or participate in work-related activities for a minimum number of hours per week or month to continue receiving benefits. Program participants must navigate these requirements within a low-wage job market in which just-in-time scheduling practices have resulted in unstable and unpredictable work hours for many employees.

    Using data from the December 2018 Well-Being and Basic Needs Survey, we examined the prevalence of precarious work schedules among working adults whose families participate in federal safety net programs in the past year, focusing on four key areas: nonstandard work shift schedules, fluctuation in weekly hours worked, advance notice of work schedules, and control over work schedules. We find that safety net program participants’ work schedules are structured in ways that would place these workers at risk of transitioning in and out of compliance with work requirements week to week for reasons beyond their control. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    In 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 46.2 million people, or 15.0 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, 10.4 million individuals were among the "working poor" in 2011; this measure was little changed from 2010. The working poor are persons who spent at least 27 weeks in the labor force (that is, working or looking for work) but whose incomes still fell below the official poverty level. In 2011, the working-poor rate-the ratio of the working poor to all individuals in the labor force for at least 27 weeks--was 7.0 percent, slightly below the previous year's figure (7.2 percent). (author abstract)

    In 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 46.2 million people, or 15.0 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, 10.4 million individuals were among the "working poor" in 2011; this measure was little changed from 2010. The working poor are persons who spent at least 27 weeks in the labor force (that is, working or looking for work) but whose incomes still fell below the official poverty level. In 2011, the working-poor rate-the ratio of the working poor to all individuals in the labor force for at least 27 weeks--was 7.0 percent, slightly below the previous year's figure (7.2 percent). (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2015

    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. The working poor are people who spent at least 27 weeks in the labor force (that is, working or looking for work) but whose incomes still fell below the official poverty level. In 2013, the working-poor rate—the ratio of the working poor to all individuals in the labor force for at least 27 weeks—was 7.0 percent, little changed from the previous year’s figure (7.1 percent). After rising from 5.1 percent to 7.0 percent between 2007 and 2009, the ratio has remained within a narrow range of 7.0 percent to 7.2 percent. (author introduction)

    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. The working poor are people who spent at least 27 weeks in the labor force (that is, working or looking for work) but whose incomes still fell below the official poverty level. In 2013, the working-poor rate—the ratio of the working poor to all individuals in the labor force for at least 27 weeks—was 7.0 percent, little changed from the previous year’s figure (7.1 percent). After rising from 5.1 percent to 7.0 percent between 2007 and 2009, the ratio has remained within a narrow range of 7.0 percent to 7.2 percent. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Newman, Katherine S.
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2000

    In No Shame in My Game, Harvard anthropologist Katherine Newman gives voice to a population for whom work, family, and self-esteem are top priorities despite all the factors that make earning a living next to impossible--minimum wage, lack of child care and health care, and a desperate shortage of even low-paying jobs. By intimately following the lives of nearly 300 inner-city workers and job seekers for two years in Harlem, Newman explores a side of poverty often ignored by media and politicians--the working poor.

    The working poor find dignity in earning a paycheck and shunning the welfare system, arguing that even low-paying jobs give order to their lives. No Shame in My Game gives voice to a misrepresented segment of today's society, and is sure to spark dialogue over the issues surrounding poverty, working and welfare. (publisher abstract)

    In No Shame in My Game, Harvard anthropologist Katherine Newman gives voice to a population for whom work, family, and self-esteem are top priorities despite all the factors that make earning a living next to impossible--minimum wage, lack of child care and health care, and a desperate shortage of even low-paying jobs. By intimately following the lives of nearly 300 inner-city workers and job seekers for two years in Harlem, Newman explores a side of poverty often ignored by media and politicians--the working poor.

    The working poor find dignity in earning a paycheck and shunning the welfare system, arguing that even low-paying jobs give order to their lives. No Shame in My Game gives voice to a misrepresented segment of today's society, and is sure to spark dialogue over the issues surrounding poverty, working and welfare. (publisher abstract)

  • Individual Author: Acs, Gregory; Turner, Margery Austin
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2008

    One-third of America's families with children are low income, meaning their incomes fall below twice the federal poverty level. Although four in five of these families work, many don't bring home enough to cover the everyday costs of living. In this essay, Acs and Turner outline their proposals to enhance low-income families' purchasing power and reduce unusually high housing costs through a package of reforms and policy initiatives that tackle both the income side and expenditure side of family budgets. (author abstract)

    One-third of America's families with children are low income, meaning their incomes fall below twice the federal poverty level. Although four in five of these families work, many don't bring home enough to cover the everyday costs of living. In this essay, Acs and Turner outline their proposals to enhance low-income families' purchasing power and reduce unusually high housing costs through a package of reforms and policy initiatives that tackle both the income side and expenditure side of family budgets. (author abstract)

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