UW News

August 24, 2009

The price isn’t right: Cost of self-sufficiency climbs in Washington

WHAT: Press conference detailing the 2009 self-sufficiency standards for all of Washington’s 39 counties.

WHO: Diana Pearce of the University of Washington’s School of Social Work and author of the report; Marléna Sessions, chief executive officer of the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County, which produced the report; and Tony Lee, advocacy director for Solid Ground/Statewide Poverty Action Network.

WHEN: 1 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2009.

WHERE: WorkSource Affiliate Downtown Seattle, 2024 3rd Ave, Second Floor.

DETAILS: It’s getting more and more costly for many Washington state families to just get by. The new 2009 self-sufficiency standards detail how much money is needed by families to meet their basic needs — housing, food, child care, health care, transportation, taxes and other necessities without public assistance or help from family and friends. It shows how much these costs have gone up since they were first calculated in 2001 and recalculated in 2006 — in some places the costs have increased by more than one-third in the past eight years. In addition, the report details the vast difference among counties in what it takes to make ends meet. The report shows that only one of the 10 most common occupations in Washington provided an annual median income that met or exceeded the self-sufficiency standard. And finally, the report compares the self-sufficiency standards for Seattle and Spokane to other large American cities.