Hometown Prosperity

Increasing Opportunity for DC's Low-Income Working Families

By DC Fiscal Policy Institute, DC Appleseed

January 30, 2008

Summary

The benefits of Washington, DC’s growing economic prosperity have bypassed the District’s working poor families. This fact-filled report examines why the District’s economic recovery has eluded many residents and what can be done about it. Several strategic goals and their ongoing policies and activities are presented with specific policy recommendations designed to bolster working poor families. 

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway

One factor keeping DC working families poor is the overly-educated labor market

In 2000, 54% of the jobs in the District were held by those with a Bachelors degree or higher, while the overall US average was only 28%. One reason: The District attracts large numbers of young, college-educated workers producing a “crowd-out” factor. While nationally only 15% of administrative workers have a college degree, in DC that figure is 30%. 

Findings & Stats

DC Demographics

Nearly one in three working families in the District was poor in 2005, with nearly two-thirds of these families headed by single women. 

Poor Effects

A higher proportion of working families in the District are poor than in neighboring states and the nation as a whole.

Statements & Quotations