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20% Classify Themselves As the Working Poor

The number of working poor is at a recent high, but workers in general are expressing slightly more confidence in their short-term earnings.

One-in-five working adults (20%) now describe themselves as poor, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. That’s the highest finding since last May, when 22% classified themselves as the working poor. In April 2009, by comparison, just nine percent (9%) of working adults said they were poor.

Sixty-one percent (61%) of working Americans consider themselves to be in the middle class, up slightly from March but lower than results found for most of last year. Another 17% say they are upper middle class. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

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 The survey of 548 Employed Adults was conducted on May 6-7, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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