A Joint Report of COWS, the Institute for Wisconsin’s Future, and the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families, Barely Getting By: Wisconsin’s Working Poor Families documents key factors affecting this largely invisible segment of Wisconsin’s workforce, combining labor market and wage data with profiles of families from communities throughout the state. The report documents the surge in poverty-wage jobs in Wisconsin over the past 20 years, and its impact on workers and their families.
Behind every economic trend or piece of data are real families. The report profiles five Wisconsin families whose stories describe the numerous challenges—beyond finding a good job—that the working poor face every day. The report concludes with policy recommendations to improve Wisconsin’s existing system of work supports and tax credits to more effectively assist working poor families.