ETI Publications

Document Type

Technical Paper

Publication Date



Critical labor force problems facing Milwaukee County’s “working poor” families are the lack of steady, good paying jobs and the resulting lack of adequate income support for single parents raising children. This report provides analysis of the income earnings of working-age Milwaukee County families utilizing Wisconsin tax records for filers’ 2012 adjusted gross income and compared with prior years. Within the small geographic area of Milwaukee County (i.e., 241 square miles of land), children have access to vastly different economic supports for their housing, food, clothing, health and other basic necessities as well as for educational resources and social opportunities. Educational achievement gaps between children of wealth and children of poverty are profoundly influenced by these extreme differences in family resources and are further exacerbated for school buildings (and districts) with high concentrations of children in need or with children having plentiful family and community resources. State income tax records for 2012 showed average incomes of working families ranging from $20,260 in zipcode 53206, Milwaukee’s poorest neighborhood, to a $253,082 average in the suburban “North Shore” zipcode 53217.