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Only 10% Now Say They Are the Working Poor

The number of working Americans who classify themselves as poor has fallen to its lowest level in more than two years, while the number of middle class workers ties the all-time high.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Employed Adults shows that 68% say they are middle class, representing an 11-point jump from July and matching the highest finding last measured in November 2009. The number of middle class workers fell to an all-time low of 57% in July.  

Just 10% of working adults consider themselves poor, down from 20% in July and the lowest result measured since April 2009. Seventeen percent (17%) say they are upper middle class, and four percent (4%) classify themselves as wealthy. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Since April 2009, the number of working adults who describe themselves as poor has ranged from nine percent (9%) to 22%.

The Rasmussen Employment Index, which measures workers’ perceptions of the labor market each month, slipped a point in August to the lowest level measured in one year. So it's unclear if these latest findings represent a significant turnaround in perceptions of personal wealth or are just statistical noise.(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 582 Employed Adults was conducted on September 5-6, 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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