The below is a news release sent out in collaboration with the University of Washington Center for Women's Welfare. The data in the 2017 Washington State Self-Sufficiency Standard Report presents a challenging portrait of the regional economy, but putting these resources in the hands of individuals, service-providers, and policymakers arms them with necessary information to support conversations around self-sufficiency.
How much is enough in Washington state? For the past decade and a half, the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County has partnered with the University of Washington Center for Women’s Welfare to release the Self-Sufficiency Standard, which measures the minimum income a family must earn to meet basic needs without public or private assistance.
The latest 2017 Washington State Self-Sufficiency Standard Report has now been released. The full report can be accessed here.
A few of 2017’s key findings: the basic costs for a family of four in Seattle have increased by $30,000 over the past decade. Average statewide costs have also risen, by an average of 59 percent, and have increased every year since the study began (2001) in every Washington county, despite the financial crisis. Families with young children typically spend nearly half their total budget on childcare, almost twice what they spend on housing.
The Workforce Development Council’s Self-Sufficiency Calculator puts the standard data to use in a convenient tool—now updated for use on TheCalculator.org—to offer a realistic and up-to-date view of the basic income needs in Washington, including cost of housing, child care, food, transportation, healthcare, taxes, and savings for emergencies.