Presentation on theme: "Dr. Diana Pearce, University of Washington School of Social Work Ways and Means Committee Work Session March 16, 2009 The Self-Sufficiency Standard: What."— Presentation transcript:
Dr. Diana Pearce, University of Washington School of Social Work Ways and Means Committee Work Session March 16, 2009 The Self-Sufficiency Standard: What it is, What it tells us, and Its Practical Uses for Washington
What a Difference a Measure Makes What is the Self-Sufficiency Standard? What Does the Standard Tell Us about Poverty in Washington State? How Is the Standard Being Used?
#1 – What is the Self- Sufficiency Standard? The Standard is an alternative, more realistic measure of “poverty” than the federal poverty measure So what is wrong with the FPL?
What’s Wrong With the FPL? Based on only one cost - food No geographical variation Outdated family assumptions Does not incorporate changes in costs, or “new” costs
Defining the Self-Sufficiency Standard It measures how much income is needed to meet basic needs—without public or private assistance It varies by location and family composition It assumes that all adults work full-time
Percentage of Standard Needed to Meet Basic Needs One Adult, One Preschooler, and One Schoolage Child Spokane County, WA 2009 (Preliminary)
The Self-Sufficiency Standard Compared to the Federal Poverty Level for Select Family Types Yakima County, WA 2009 (Preliminary)
The Self-Sufficiency Wage for Select Counties One Adult, One Preschooler and One Schoolage Child Washington, 2009 (Preliminary) **Assumes public transportation use
The Self-Sufficiency Standard is Measureable Across Time and Place Calculated for 37 states, plus NYC & DC
#2- What Difference Does the Standard Make? - It changes the number who lack sufficient income: Households Below the Standard Households Below the Federal Poverty Level Source: Pearce, D.M. (2007). Overlooked and Undercounted: Wages, Work and Poverty in Washington State. Available at http://www.selfsufficiencystandard.org/docs/Washington%20State%20Demographic.pdf
The Difference the Standard Makes It Changes our understanding of WHO LACKS ADEQUATE INCOME The most common households lacking sufficient income are White Headed by married couples with children Have at least one high school educated worker in the household 82% of households in Washington State with incomes below the Standard have a worker in them
The Difference the Standard Makes Nevertheless, the burden of insufficient income falls disproportionately on families w/ children
Though Western urban Washington is twice as expensive, much higher proportions of rural Eastern households lack adequate income
The Difference the Standard Makes The Standard allows us to analyze what costs are burdens & the Impact of PUBLIC POLICIES The Standard shows the amount of each cost, not just food The Standard shows how benefits & tax credits help family budgets
Impact of the Addition of Work Supports on Monthly Costs and Self-Sufficiency Wage One Adult with One Preschooler and One Schoolage Child Kitsap County (Excluding Bainbridge Island), WA 2009 (Preliminary) Self-Sufficiency Standard Working Connections Child Care, Basic Food, WIC*, & Apple Health for Kids Housing$694 Child Care$1,006$50 Food$539$386 Transportation$279 Health Care$355$115 Miscellaneous$287 Taxes$489$249 Earned Income Tax Credit (-)($5)($0) Child Care Tax Credit (-)($110)($15) Child Tax Credit (-)($167)($23) Making Work Pay Credit (-)($33) Self-Sufficiency Wage (Monthly) $3,334$1,990
Modeling the Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Two Adults, One Preschooler, and One Schoolage Child Benton County (Excluding Kennewick/Richland), WA 2009 (preliminary) Standard Excluding Stimulus Changes Standard Including Stimulus Changes Sum of Monthly Expenses$3,414 Taxes$450$410 Earned Income Tax Credit (-) ($5)($78) Child Care Tax Credit (-) ($100)($110) Child Tax Credit (-) ($167) Making Work Pay Tax Credit (-) NA($67) Self-Sufficiency Wage Hourly$10.21 per adult$9.67 per adult Monthly$3,593$3,402 Annual $43,112$40,827
#3 -How Is the Standard Being Used? 1/3 of Workforce Boards use the Standard as their legislated measure of “self- sufficiency” Online self-sufficiency calculators – in PA, CA, NYC, & in Washington State Benchmark for program evaluation – “how are we doing at helping families achieve self-sufficiency?”
Practical Applications of the Standard Target scarce program resources to those most in need Evaluate economic development initiatives – such as Green jobs – regarding the adequacy of the new jobs’ wages Guidelines for career counselors, to help guide training & occupational choices
Questions? For more information on the Self- Sufficiency Standard and to know more about who is below the Standard in Washington State please visit: www.selfsufficiencystandard.org
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