October 29, 2014
Work, sadly, is by no means a ticket out of poverty — a fact that is particularly true for Oregon Latino families living in poverty. In 2012, nine out of 10 (89.8 percent) poor Oregon Latino families with children had at least one parent in the family who worked in the previous 12 months. By comparison, the figure was seven out of 10 (72.6 percent) for the state’s poor non-Hispanic white families with children.
Measure 88 is important for many working poor families. The measure provides a way for all Oregonians to prove they can drive, get licensed, buy auto insurance and get to work. Most poor families with children have a parent who works. It’s tough being poor despite work, and it’s worse if you cannot drive.
How we calculated the figures
This analysis uses 2012 American Community Survey (ACS) Public Use Micro Sample (PUMS) microdata. The analysis focused on Oregon households living in poverty with a related child.
The ACS categorizes work experience as “full time in the past 12 months,” “less than full time work in the past 12 months,” and “did not work in the past 12 months.” Less than full time includes short-term and seasonal work. For example, a person who worked 40 hours per week for 10 weeks during the winter holiday season in a retail position would be considered to have worked less than full time by the ACS. This analysis looks at the share of households in poverty with children where at least the head of household or the head’s spouse had some work experience in the 12 months prior to the survey response.
While a person who worked “less than full time” could also be considered long-term unemployed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which defines long-term unemployment as joblessness for 27 weeks or more and actively looking for work during that time, that person is still correctly counted by the ACS as having worked less than full time during the past year. Similarly, a person who “did not work in the past 12 months” under the ACS survey might not be considered “long-term unemployed” under the BLS survey if the person was not actively seeking work. One is a survey of who has been working and the other is a survey of who has been unemployed; they are not meant to be mutually exclusive.
We analyzed each of the ACS work-experience categories by race and by ethnic origin. “Latino” in our analysis refers to individuals categorized by the ACS as being of “Hispanic/Latino/Spanish” origin. They may or may not have identified their race as “white.” We use the term “non-Hispanic white” to refer to those who identified their race as white and not of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin.
For more on 2012 PUMS accuracy visit, see here (PDF).
Posted in Poverty.
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Issues in Focus
What's the Federal Poverty Level for 2014? The federal government has released the 2013 Federal Poverty Income Guidelines, better known as the "federal poverty level." Oregon uses the guidelines to determine eligibility for some public assistance programs, such as the Oregon Health Plan. See the new guidelines.
Oregon's economic performance. If economic growth alone determined the well-being of a state’s inhabitants, all Oregonians would be thriving. Relative to the rest of the nation, Oregon’s economy has performed exceptionally well for over a decade. See these seven charts.
Income inequality in Oregon. The past three decades in Oregon, as elsewhere, are in large measure a story of surging income inequality. As the income of the fortunate few at the top has soared, the income of most Oregonians has stagnated or declined. If many Oregonians feel that they are struggling to keep up or falling behind, it is because they are. See these seven charts.
Visit our View of the State of Working Oregon to learn more.
Fact that Matters
In the 2013-15 budget cycle Oregon will lose an estimated $164.9 million in revenue collections as a result of single sales factor apportionment -- a tax break that benefits multi-state corporations with a significant payroll and property in Oregon. That amount represents a $35 million (27 percent) increase from the cost of single sales factor apportionment in 2011-13. Read more.