At a cursory glance, Colorado has much to celebrate in terms of low unemployment and poverty levels, but scratching the surface of the data reveals troubling trends fraught with wage stagnation and disparities.
CCLP produces the State of Working Colorado every year to gauge how the economy is performing for workers across the income spectrum. The publication is intended to help stakeholders and policymakers determine where to focus their efforts in revitalizing opportunities and prosperity for hard-working Coloradans across the racial spectrum.
Ten years after the start of the Great Recession and more than eight years after it officially ended, there are signs of recovery in Vermont. The economy has continued to grow, if more slowly than the rest of the country. Yet whatever growth or prosperity the state has achieved, many have not benefited from it. Average Vermonters still struggle to make ends meet.
The economy is improving, but not for most Vermonters: For the past 13 years State of Working Vermont has told the same story. But the narrative can change—policymakers can change it. The economic indicators selected here highlight the areas where Montpelier can focus attention and resources to improve the well-being of all the people of Vermont.
It’s not as though Vermont’s political leaders haven’t seen the indicators or are unaware of the problems the state faces. But administrations of both parties have been reluctant to acknowledge the need for more revenue, and postponing critical investments—for instance, in early care and education, affordable housing, and clean water—has become the norm. Employers have not been asked to share the responsibility to create a fairer economy. Not enough jobs pay wages that can support a family, yet when the Legislature voted this year to increase the minimum wage, the governor vetoed the bill.
Each Labor Day the Keystone Research Center releases an annual checkup on the health of the Pennsylvania labor market, “The State of Working Pennsylvania.” (https://www.keystoneresearch.org/SWP2018). The 2018 edition focused on state-level data, mostly available through June 2018. This addendum to that report focuses on 2017 data released last month by the Census Bureau on incomes and poverty for Philadelphia. We complement the Census data with statistics on employment and unemployment from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to provide a comprehensive assessment of the performance of the Philadelphia economy since 2005. We start with the year 2005 as that is the first year in which data at the county level are available from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.
By many measures, Washington’s economy has soared since the Great Recession. The state has added over 400,000 jobs since 2008 – more than making up for previous losses – and average hourly wages have climbed 13 percent after adjusting for inflation. However, those rosy numbers mask the fact that sluggish wage growth, increasing inequality and rising prices are leaving many Washington residents struggling.