Building an Economy that Works for Everyone

Marilyn Watkins, Ph.D: Paid family leave and the economy

Testimony from Marilyn Watkins, Ph.D, Policy Director, EOI

For HB 5659, to the House Commerce and Labor Committee

Washington’s Good Economic News

  • Jobs grew rapidly in 2005 and 2006
  • Jobs grew in most sectors
  • Jobs grew in most regions of the state
  • Washington’s job growth rate (3.2% Nov. ‘05-Nov. ‘06) is well above the national average (1.1%)
  • Washington’s lowest wage workers kept pace with inflation through the recession
  • Nationally, productivity grew 3.1% annually 2000-2005

Washington’s Bad Economic News

  • Recovery from recession is not complete –134,000 jobs short of level needed to match population growth
  • Productivity growth has not gone to wages for the majority of workers
  • Men earn less than in late 1990s
  • Women’s earnings have just kept pace with inflation, and remain much lower
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