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Department of Labor

Employment and Training Administration

Workforce Investment Act; Lower Living Standard Income Level

AGENCY: Employment and Training Administration, Labor.

ACTION: Notice of determination of lower living standard income level.

SUMMARY: Under Title I of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998 (Public Law 105-220), the Secretary of Labor annually determines the Lower Living Standard Income Level (LLSIL) for uses described in the Law. WIA defines the term "Low Income Individual" as one who qualifies under various criteria, including an individual who received income for a six-month period that does not exceed the higher of the poverty line or 70 percent of the lower living standard income level. This issuance provides the Secretary's annual LLSIL for 2004 and references the current 2004 Health and Human Services (HHS) "Poverty Guidelines."

EFFECTIVE DATE: This notice is effective on June 24, 2004.

ADDRESSES: Send written comments to: Mr. Haskel Lowery, Employment and Training Administration, Department of Labor, Room N-4464, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20210.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Haskel Lowery, Telephone 202-693-3608; Fax 202-693-3532 (these are not toll free numbers).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: It is the purpose of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 "to provide workforce investment activities, through statewide and local workforce investment systems, that increase the employment, retention, and earnings of participants, and increase occupational skill attainment by participants, and, as a result, improve the quality of the workforce, reduce welfare dependency, and enhance the productivity and competitiveness of the Nation."

The LLSIL is used for several purposes under WIA: specifically, WIA Section 101(25) defines the term "low income individual" for eligibility purposes, Sections 101(24) defines the term LLSIL, 127(b)(2)(C) and 132(b)(1)(IV) define the terms "disadvantaged adult," and "disadvantaged youth" in terms of the poverty line or LLSIL for purpose of State formula allotments. The Governor and State/Local Workforce Investment Boards use the LLSIL for determining eligibility for youth, eligibility for employed adult workers for certain services, and for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). We encourage the Governors and state/local Workforce Investment Boards to consult WIA and its regulations and preamble at 29 CFR Part 652, 660-671 (published at 65 FR 49294 (Augu.11, 2000)) et al., for more specific guidance in applying the LLSIL to program requirements. The Department of Health and Human Services published the annual 2004 update of the poverty-level guidelines in the Federal Register at 69 FR 7335, (Feb. 13, 2004). The HHS 2004 Poverty guidelines may also be found on the Internet at: [].

The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) plans to have the 2004 LLSIL available on its web site at: [].

WIA Section 101(24) defines the LLSIL as "that income level (adjusted for regional, metropolitan, urban, and rural differences and family size) determined annually by the Secretary [of Labor] based on the most recent lower living family budget issued by the Secretary." The most recent lower living family budget was issued by the Secretary of Labor in the fall of 1981.

The four-person urban family budget estimates, previously published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provided the basis for the Secretary to determine the LLSIL. BLS terminated the four-person family budget series in 1982, after publication of the fall 1981 estimates. Currently BLS provides the data from which ETA develops the LLSIL tables.

ETA published the 2003 updates to the LLSIL in the Federal Register of May 30, 2003, at 68 FR 32549. This notice again updates the LLSIL to reflect cost of living increases for 2003, by applying the percentage change in the December 2003 Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), compared with the December 2002, CPI-U to each of the May 30, 2003 LLSIL figures. Those updated figures for a family-of -four are listed in Table 1 below by region for both metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. Figures in all of the accompanying tables are rounded up to the nearest ten. Since "low income individual," "disadvantaged adult," and "disadvantaged youth" may be determined by family income at 70 percent of the LLSIL, pursuant to WIA Sections, 101(25), 127(b)(2)(C) and 132(b)(1)(B)(v)(IV), respectively, those figures are listed below as well.
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