Schmudget Blog
— filed under: ,

A Good Job is Hard to Find

Posted by Lori Pfingst at Nov 26, 2012 07:15 PM |

Part II in a series from our recent brief, In Pursuit of Prosperity: Eight Strategies to Rebuild Washington's Economy. In decades past, an abundance of good jobs created a thriving middle class in Washington state.  In today’s economy, however, a good job is hard to find.

Most of the jobs available in Washington state do not pay what’s needed for workers and their families to get ahead. Fifteen of the 20 occupations with the most job openings pay below what a family of four (two adults, two kids) needs just to meet basic needs, like having enough food, adequate housing, and affordable child care and health care. Eighteen out of 20 pay less than what a single parent with two children needs (see figure).

prosperity_fig2_basicneeds_no#

Furthermore, while meeting basic needs is an important benchmark, true progress would mean that more people have enough disposable income to invest in assets – a home, saving for retirement, or a child’s education – that build long-term wealth and economic security. Unfortunately, that is unlikely to happen given the current state of Washington state’s job market. Conservatively assuming families need 15 percent more than just a basic needs wage to actually step onto a path of prosperity, 71 percent of jobs in 2019 will not pay enough on average ($56,762) for a family of three to get ahead on one income (see figure).

prosperity_fig3_scatter_no#

To find out what policymakers can do to build a just and prosperous future for all Washingtonians, read the full brief.

Document Actions

Our Legislative Agenda

The Budget & Policy Center's 2015-17 Legislative Agenda calls for an equitable and sustainable revenue system in addition to state investments that will promote a world-class education system; sustain a strong, inclusive middle class; produce high-quality, living wage jobs, and ensure equal opportunity to live healthy and productive lives. Take a closer look here.

Testimonies in Olympia

Andy testimonyWe've testified in support of a number of important bills this session. Take a look:

Budget Beat

Sign up for our next Budget Beat webinar on Friday, April 3, at noon. Our research and policy team will give a legislative update.

In our February 27 Budget Beat webinar, State Rep. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, and Senior Fiscal Analyst Andy Nicholas talked about the tax break transparency bill. 

Budget Matters Conference

Thank you to all those people who made our 3rd Annual Budget Matters Conference a success! Take a look at this video highlighting Budget Matters 2014.