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WCPC Director Jennie Romich evaluated the implementation and early outcomes of the City of Seattle Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance. Read the report here. Romich shared the evaluation results with the Seattle City Council, her presentation begins at 8:15 in this Seattle Channel video.
WCPC Affiliate Margaret O'Mara received a University of Washington Distinguished Teaching Award for Innovation with Technology.
2011 Social Policy Research Fellowship Recipient Jorge Martinez was awarded a Graduate Fellowship for Ethnic Minorities by the American Society of Criminology.
Marieka Klawitter, Professor of Public Affairs, was interviewed by Oregon Public Radio about the Census Bureau's release of national data on income, poverty, and health insurance coverage in 2012. Listen to the interview here.
Mark Long, Associate Professor of Public Affairs, has published an article on affirmative action in Texas entitled, "Jockeying for Position: High School Student Mobility and Texas' Top-Ten Percent Rule."
Data released by the U.S. Census Bureau today show that, after increasing since 2008, the poverty rate for the U.S. remained stable at 15 percent between 2010 and 2011. During that time, poverty rates were statistically unchanged for most groups, but decreased among some subgroups, including Hispanics and males. Although the overall poverty rate did not increase, it continues to be well above pre-recession levels. "Since it usually reflects unemployment, the poverty rate won't decrease until after unemployment drops significantly," said WCPC Affiliate Marieka Klawitter. In addition, median annual household income declined for the second year in a row, to $50,054, down 1.5 percent from 2010.
In 2011, a family of two working-age adults and two children was considered poor if its annual income fell below $22,811. Poverty is greatest among children (21.9 percent), compared with seniors (8.7 percent) and working-age adults (13.7 percent).
"The poverty rate is useful for comparing trends over time, but it doesn't do a good job of setting a bar for how much money families need to get by," said WCPC Director Jennifer Romich. Among other issues, the poverty line does not take into account geographic variation in the cost of living or the value of government benefits like food stamps. "In spite of its imperfections, what the poverty measure does tell us is that over 46 million people are living with incomes below a very low threshold."
The Census Bureau will release more accurate state-level estimates and estimates for large cities and counties on Sept. 20, followed by a report in November that will include a more complete picture of income, expenses and the cost of living. More information about the various poverty estimates and trends over time is available here. Additional information about poverty in Washington and the Northwest area states is available here.