Jobs & the Economy

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Washington state’s economy is growing, but both the quantity and quality of jobs remain cause for concern. While some areas of our state are experiencing low unemployment, many rural counties in particular have unemployment rates up to double the national average. Many people, especially women and people of color, are working part-time because they cannot find full-time work. And while Washington state has been at the forefront of the movement to ensure workers make a higher minimum wage, the high cost of housing in many areas nevertheless makes it extremely difficult for many people to make ends meet.

Our economy requires workers to acquire new skills to stay competitive in the global job market. Washington must develop policies that train our residents for the jobs of tomorrow while helping them meet their basic needs today.


Related Research:

IN PURSUIT OF PROSPERITY: Eight Strategies to Rebuild Washington State's Economy

By Lori Pfingst, PhD As our newly elected leaders reconvene for next legislative session and beyond, it is important they recognize that widely shared prosperity doesn’t happen by accident. History, supported by persuasive research, proves that prosperity happens when we deliberately invest in the foundations of a strong economy – broad and equal opportunity to build knowledge and skills, adequate compensation and support for workers, and adequate investments in conditions that foster economic growth.

Women, Work, and Washington's Economy: How State Budget Cuts are Hurting All Three

Few of us have escaped the pain of the Great Recession, but the downturn has had an especially severe impact on women in our state. Of the $10 billion in state spending cuts already made, 93 percent have targeted education, health, and human services – areas that disproportionally employ and serve women. This is taking a major toll on the economic well-being, health, and safety of women and their families.
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Learn about the pros and cons of the final supplemental state budget. Sign up for our Budget Beat webinar, "Legislative Session 2018 Wrap-up," featuring our policy experts Kelli Smith, Andy Nicholas, and Julie Watts.

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Our policy priorities

Washington state should be a place where all our residents have strong communities, great schools, and the chance for a bright future. Our 2017-2019 Legislative Agenda outlines the priorities we are working to advance to build a better Washington.

Testimonies in Olympia

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We're in Olympia throughout the 2018 legislative session to testify in support of bills that advance our legislative priorities. Watch our testimonies on TVW:

Our Seattle Policy Summit

You can watch our Budget Matters 2017 Seattle Policy Summit, which took place on December 6, online. The first part of the day (watch herefeatured Washington State Lt. Governor Cyrus Habib and Race Forward President Glenn Harris. The second part of the day (watch here) featured Budget & Policy Center Senior Policy Analyst Jennifer Tran, and a panel of local leaders moderated by Michael Brown of the Seattle Foundation.