Regional data from US Census shows mixed results – at best – for Puget Sound economy

Highlights from the most recent US Census data on King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, from Puget Sound Sage:

Despite substantial job growth and low unemployment in the three-county Puget Sound region1 between 2006 and 2007, median household income remained flat or fell slightly, after adjusting for inflation.

Inflation eroded median earnings gains for male and female workers between 2006 and 2007 while earnings gaps grew in the labor market for men.

Households in the Puget Sound Region share unevenly in the economy’s benefits. Nearly half (48%) of all income goes to the top 20% of households while only one twentieth (4%) goes to the bottom 20%.

Although more families in poverty had working adults in 2007 than 2006, poverty remained flat in the region, changing insignificantly from 9.6% to 9.8%.

Substantial disparities in poverty plague the region. A large earnings gap for between race and ethnic groups indicates that a slowing economy and rising inflation will hurt these workers the most.

Press release and full report is here.

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