Analysis of regional data from the US Census Bureau 2007 American Community Survey

Among the key findings of the issue brief:

  • Despite substantial job growth and low unemployment in the three-county Puget Sound region 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 between race and ethnic groups indicates that a slowing economy and rising inflation will hurt these workers the most.