Income & Poverty Spotlight

How the U.S. Government Is Making Washington, D.C. the Capitol of Inequality

While Washington, DC is one of the most economically successful cities in the nation, it is also one of the most economically unequal places to live and work in America. Federal contracting work contributes to the area’s wide income inequality. This report finds that: Nearly one-third of DC’s federal contract workers—24,500—earn less than $20 an […]

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Unpredictable, Unsustainable: The Impact of Employers’ Scheduling Practices in DC

The push to boost corporate profits and keep labor costs low has led many companies to adopt scheduling practices that often result in erratic and unpredictable hours for the women and men who work for them. New data reveals the prevalence of such “just-in-time” scheduling in Washington, DC’s service sector. In line with previous research, […]

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Left Behind: DC’s Economic Recovery Is Not Reaching All Residents

The road to economic recovery in DC has left many groups of residents behind. The District has recovered from recession-related job losses, but wage and job growth have been very uneven. Low-wage workers have seen their wages fall, while higher-wage workers have seen earnings grow by thousands of dollars per year. Workers with less than […]

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Bursting the Bubble: The Challenges of Working and Living in the National Capital Region

Living in the national capital region looks like it has its advantages. Employment levels are back to where they were before the recession. The unemployment rate is far lower than that of the country as a whole. Incomes are high, especially for highly educated workers. From outside this bubble, things look pretty good. However, the bubble obscures a […]

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Poverty Rates Remain High For Some Groups of DC Residents

New figures released by the Census Bureau yesterday showed that poverty remains high in the District and has grown significantly since the onset of the recession in some areas of the city. In 2012, just over 18 percent of DC residents—108,732 people—lived below the poverty line, which is less than $23,492 for a family of […]

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For Some DC Groups of DC Residents, Unemployment Remains High in the Wake of the Recession

Despite an overall drop in citywide unemployment from 10.1 percent in 2011 to 8.9 percent in 2012, several groups of DC residents continue to face very high rates of joblessness.  In particular, the unemployment rate among single parents with children rose in 2012 to nearly 24 percent, twice the 2006 unemployment rate for this group. […]

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October 30th, 2013
Testimony of Elissa Silverman, Communications Director, At the Public Hearing on B20-438, “Minimum Wage and Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Amendment Act of 2013”; B20-459, “Minimum Wage Amendment Act of 2013”; B20-460, “Living Wage for All Act of 2013”; B20-463, “Minimum Wage Revision Commission Establishment Amendment Act of 2013”; B20-480, “Earned Sick and Safe Leave Act of 2013”

October 28th, 2013
Testimony of Ed Lazere, Executive Director, At the Joint Public Hearing on • B20-438, the “Minimum Wage and Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Amendment Act of 2013” • B20-459, the “Minimum Wage Amendment Act of 2013” • B20-460, the “Living Wage for All Act of 2013” • B20-463, the “Minimum Wage Revision Commission Establishment Amendment Act of 2013 • B20-480, the “Earned Sick and Safe Leave Act of 2013”

June 8th, 2012
Testimony of Ed Lazere, Executive Director, to the Board of Directors of DC Water and Sewer Authority

November 25th, 2009
Testimony of Elissa Silverman, Communications and Policy Associate, for the Public Hearing on B18-420, “Unemployment Compensation Administration Modernization Amendment Act of 2009” and B18-455, “Unemployment Compensation Reform Act of 2009”

April 23rd, 2009
Testimony of Katie Kerstetter, Policy Analyst, DC Fiscal Policy Institute, at the Joint Public Hearing on the Food Stamp Expansion Act of 2009, District of Columbia Committee on Human Services & Committee on Goverment Operations

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Of Interest

The District of Columbia’s poverty rate is far above the national average and has remained high even in periods of strong economic growth.DC’s poverty rate rose significantly during the early 2000s, reaching a peak in 2005-2006.  The number of low-income DC residents began rising again in 2009 as a result of the economic recession.

Recent trends in poverty in the District


A Dissapointing Day for Large Retail Employees But Hope for a Higher DC Minimum Wage Soon (District’s Dime)

Many Working Families Can’t Afford DC’s High Cost of Living (District’s Dime)

Income Inequality Gap in D.C. One off Nation’s Widest (Washington Post)