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Abstract

The number of working poor families in the United States increased substantially during the 1979-89 period. This increase was found to disproportionately consist of families headed by employed females. The growth in poverty among families headed by employed females during this period was found to be nonstructural in nature and inequitably distributed across labor markets in the U.S. It was found that at the onset of the 1980s, high rates of poverty among families headed by employed females were predominantly concentrated in labor market areas in the South. Over the 1980s, the highest increases in poverty rates among such families were found to be concentrated in labor market areas in the Midwest and Rocky Mountain regions, rather than the South. Further, declines in poverty rates among families headed by employed females were found to be concentrated in labor market areas located on the east and west coasts.

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