ETI Publications

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Technical Paper

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As part of an ongoing research project, the Employment and Training Institute compared Wisconsin state income tax data for 2007 and 2009 for nine inner city Milwaukee ZIP codes, neighborhoods hard hit by the recession. In spite of the difficult economy, most inner city single Milwaukee parents remained in the workforce. The filing data showed only a 1% decline in earners in 2009 compared to two years earlier in spite of record high unemployment. A majority of the single parents earned less than $20,000 in 2009, and a fourth earned less than $10,000. The low earnings suggest workers with high job turnover, low wages, part-time jobs, and less than year-round employment. Prior ETI studies have found many lower-income single parents working in temp agencies, food service, nursing homes, retail trade, child care, and other businesses with lower-wage, higher-turnover jobs. As of July 2010, less than 5,600 families in the nine ZIP codes were receiving W-2 cash payments, even though over 29,000 single parents with children were earning less than $30,000 a year.