Over one third of North Carolina households have at least one low-wage worker. These households vary in structure and in their dependence on income from low-wage jobs. For many households, this income is the primary or even sole source of income. For some others, it serves as a secondary or supplementary source of earnings. Explore low-wage work at the household level in this section to see its impact on North Carolina families.

More than 35% of North Carolina households contain at least one low-wage worker. Additionally, 18% of households rely on income from low-wage work as their primary source of income and 10% of households rely on income from low-wage work as their sole source of income.

Among households with at least one low-wage worker, 52% rely on low-wage work as their primary source of earnings. This means that a majority of households with a low-wage worker count on income from low-wage work for more than 50% of their income.

In some situations, a low-wage worker may live in a household with other higher income earners. An example of this is a teenager working in a low-wage job whose parent has a higher income. However, in only 12% of households with a low-wage worker does income from that worker account for less than 20% of their household income. In other words, income from low-wage work makes up a significant portion of income in 88% of households with a low-wage worker.

The living arrangements of households with a low-wage worker vary greatly. Twenty-two percent of these households have only one adult living in them, while two-adult households make up just less than half. The category of other household types indicates households with more than two adults. This may include households with grown children, households with a grandparent or other grown relative residing in the household, or a number of other possible living situations.