Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Originally telecast as a two-hour entry in the A&E cable documentary series Investigative Reports, Nickel and Dimed in America is based on the similarly titled best-seller by Barbara Ehrenreich. The program chronicles the struggle of America's "working poor" to make ends meet in an increasingly (and often prohibitively) expensive society. Emphasis is placed upon five workers, most of them single parents, trying to survive on salaries ranging from six to seven dollars hourly. Much of the air time is given over to the ongoing debate about increasing the national minimum wage and improving the working conditions of those in the lowest financial brackets. Nickel and Dimed in America was first broadcast in 2002.