Many Texans are poor, not because they don't work, but because their work pays too little to raise a family out of poverty. To ensure economic prosperity, Texas public policy must support work, make work pay, and help families build their assets. The most important thing the state can do to enhance economic opportunity is to invest in public education—from early childhood education all the way through higher education.

Recent Labor Market/Wages/UI Publications

Uneven Growth in the New Economy (03/28/2001)
While the 1990s brought a period of sustained growth for the Texas economy, not all Texans enjoyed equally in the benefits of this growth. Texas saw a growing gap in the incomes of its residents during the 1990s. Generally, while upper-middle and upper-income Texans experienced an increase in the real value of their incomes, middle and low-income Texans saw their real incomes stagnate.

Proposed Legislation Would Make Work Pay (03/26/2001)
Two popular myths endure about Texas' poor. One is that most poor people don't work and don't want to work. The second is that work will raise these families out of poverty. Research conducted by the Center for Public Policy Priorities shows that these myths do not correspond with reality. Of the 3 million poor Texans, about 2 million have at least one working adult in their household. Moreover, the problem of poverty despite work is greater in Texas than in most other states. Bills to raise the state minimum wage or to require government contractors to pay a living wage offer one set of solutions to this problem.

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