West Coast Poverty Center

Affiliate News

Faculty Affiliate Jacob Vigdor spoke recently with KUOW about the study he is leading that is looking at the effect of wage increases on businesses, earnings, employment and low-income families. Learn more here.

 

Research by WCPC Affiliate Mark Long, and Evans School PhD student Alec Kennedy was highlighted in a U.S. News and World Report piece, “Location, location, location: Are top universities too far away from low-income high school graduates?” Read about it here.

 

New Research

Get a Job: Labor Markets, Economic Opportunity, and Crime

Robert CrutchfieldIn Get a Job: Labor Markets, Economic Opportunity, and Crime, WCPC Affiliate and Professor of Sociology Robert Crutchfield takes a nuanced look at the relationship between the economy and crime. Rather than focusing solely on unemployment rates, Crutchfield argues that we must examine the structure of economic opportunities and individuals’ relative access to those opportunities to understand criminality and crime rates.  Read the full FLASH here.

 

Poverty News

Poverty and Income Inequality Increase in Washington State

After holding steady for two years, new data from the US Census Bureau show that the poverty rate in Washington state rose from 13.5% to 14.1% between 2012 and 2013. The number of Washingtonians living in poverty also rose during that period, from 915,278 people to 967,282.

Most states saw no change in their poverty rates or numbers, but New Jersey and New Mexico joined Washington as the three states with increases in both poverty rates and the number of poor people.

The new data also show that median income in Washington ($58,405) was unchanged from the year before, although a measure of income inequality in the state increased.

"This increase in the poverty rate alongside higher income inequality shows that the economic recovery has not reached many low-income Washingtonians," said Jennifer Romich, WCPC director and associate professor of social work. "The poverty rate is an indicator of how well the most vulnerable do in our economy. The overall national picture suggests that economic growth is failing to reach everyone," Romich said. Read the full WCPC press release about the new income and poverty data here.