Archive for 2014

Beyond the Headlines — Temporary Work in Seattle & WA State

Over the holiday season, tens of thousands of workers across the nation will be temporarily hired in retail stores, warehouses, customer service centers and factories to meet seasonal demands. Current local and national trends show that temp work, however, has become a mainstay of our economy. This edition of Beyond the Headlines examines the trends in temporary work in Seattle and Washington State and the opportunities and challenges this type of employment presents to workers.

The temporary help services industry includes ...

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$15 Minimum Wage Report

$15 Minimum Wage Report

December 3, 2014

Seattle Jobs Initiative is pleased to share our latest research brief:

$15 Minimum Wage and the Potential Impacts to Seattle?s Workforce

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In June 2014, Mayor Ed Murray signed into law a $15 minimum wage for the City of Seattle. This increase will be phased-in over time, beginning in April 2015 ? with different timetables for small and large employers to bring their workers? wages up to the new minimum.

In ...

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Beyond the Headlines — Locating Middle-Wage Jobs in Seattle

In last month?s edition of Beyond the Headlines, we explored the resurgence of middle-skill jobs in Seattle following the Great Recession. Middle-skill jobs are those that require some postsecondary education but less than a bachelor?s degree. Seattle Jobs Initiative takes that definition one step further by examining ?middle-wage jobs? ? middle-skill jobs that pay a median wage of at least $17 per hour.

SJI focuses its education and training programs on providing pathways to middle-wage jobs, and we are thus concerned ...

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Beyond the Headlines — The Return of Middle-Skill Jobs in Seattle

In its May 2014 Regional Economic Update, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported that employment has returned to pre-recession levels for the United States; however, the jobs created have been concentrated at the higher and lower ends of the skills distribution. Middle-skill jobs, including those in construction, elementary education, and administrative support, were largely cut during the recession, and they are not coming back.(1)

While the nation has seen a significant drop in middle-skill jobs, Seattle has not experienced ...

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Beyond the Headlines — Part-Time Work in the U.S. & Washington State

The U.S. economy added 209,000 jobs in July 2014, making it the seventh straight month the economy has added over 200,000 jobs. Job gains occurred across a wide array of sectors including professional and business services, manufacturing, retail trade, and construction.(1)?While these trends in job creation are welcome news, many American workers continue to struggle in part-time employment.

Part-time workers include workers who choose to work part-time (e.g., to care for a child, attend college or job training, or ...

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Beyond the Headlines — A Look at Seattle?s Shifting Income Inequality Picture

After many decades of stability, income inequality has significantly increased across the United States since the 1970s. Most of the increase in the inequality gap is due to the increasing share of income held by the nation?s wealthiest households. On the heels of the Great Recession in 2007, income inequality peaked with the wealthiest 10 percent of households holding a 49.7 percent share of income.(1) While the economy has largely recovered from the economic downturn, income inequality is still an ...

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RFQ: English Language Learners — Award Announcement!

RFQ: English Language Learners — Award Announcement!

July 29, 2014

On April 21, 2014, we released a Request for Qualifications Career Pathways for English Language Learners. We are pleased to announce that, after due deliberation, we have accepted a proposal from South Seattle College (SSC).

We look forward to working with SCC as they create and offer ELL-specific versions of the Start Next Quarter workshop and Work Discoveries class, as well as two new vocational ESL classes. Through these and other efforts, we hope to accelerate gains by English ...

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Beyond the Headlines — Labor Force Participation & Unemployment: What It Means For Seattle?s Economic Recovery

Nationally, the unemployment rate has been on the decline since 2008. However, the labor force participation rate has also steadily declined with the unemployment rate, an indication that more people are dropping out of the labor force entirely and are thus not captured in the unemployed. Seattle has not followed this same trend, as the unemployment and labor force participation rates indicate actual gains in employment. From December 2007 through June 2009, the United States experienced its longest, and arguably, ...

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New Book Highlights Strategies to Reinvigorate Workforce Development

June 12, 2014

Connecting People to Work: Workforce Intermediaries and Sector Strategies, edited by Maureen Conway and Robert P. Giloth, focuses on the expanding role of sector strategies in crafting workforce programs that address the needs of low-income workers and potential employers.

These strategies, which target regional economic sectors, focus on specific skills employers need as well as the real-world challenges faced by low-income workers. Though sector strategies alone cannot eradicate poverty and income inequality, the lessons and insights offered throughout ...

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New Research: Washington State’s BFET Program

New Research: Washington State’s BFET Program

June 3, 2014

The story of Washington?s BFET program, the state?s federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment & Training (SNAP E&T), is one of remarkable success. In just eight years from its October 2005 launch, the BFET program has grown from a $150,000 to a $29 million program; from serving the Seattle area exclusively to serving the entire state; and from serving a few hundred to nearly 30,000 individuals each year. The program?s innovative model emphasizes skills training provided by community ...

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