Raise the Floor Milwaukee

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June 26, 2013
By: Laura Dresser

This report from COWS highlights how raising the low-wage floor will improve quality of life for the 100,000 workers in poverty-wage jobs in the city, and for a roughly equal number of poverty-wage workers in the suburban counties around city. Long term decline was made more brutal by the Great Recession, leaving workers at the mercy of a dramatic shift from manufacturing into services, declining unionization, and falling job quality. Evidence of the economic crisis abounds, yet Milwaukee’s problems — including racial disparity and residential segregation, child poverty, crime and incarceration, catastrophic drop-out rates, especially for African Americans and Hispanics — are not inevitable. They result from increasing economic isolation of the central city and increasingly isolation even of the middle of the labor market from meaningful effects of growth. 


Correction: We regret a data error in the infographic on page 10, 'Low Income and High Poverty'. The correction has been made in the above downloadable document as of August 20, 2013.

Executive Summary (0.2MB)