From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for May 22, 1988:
The Lawrence Journal-World this morning launched a series on "the plight of the local working poor." The first article referred to statistics provided by the Kansas University School of Social Welfare, saying that "the fastest growing group among the poor is the 'working poor,' not the 'welfare poor.'" The U.S. Department of Labor in 1988 was classifying those earning less than $5.10 an hour as "low earners," and nearly 80 percent of the jobs advertised at the Lawrence Job Service Center in the previous week were paying less than $4.50 an hour. "What we really need to do is create more jobs with adequate wages," said Ann Weick, dean of the KU School of Social Welfare. "What we are doing now is assuming the job will support people and it is the worker's fault if they don't succeed." An estimate based on 1980 U.S. Census figures placed the number of Douglas County families living below the poverty level at 2,000.