All Publications

  • Dresser, L., and J. Rogers. The State of Working Wisconsin 2017: Facts & Figures. COWS, 2017.

    For more than two decades now, annually, on Labor Day, COWS reports on how working people are faring in the state. The State of Working Wisconsin, released biannually on even-numbered years since  1996, is our long-form report, and looks at the economy comprehensively from a working-family perspective. In odd-numbered years, also biannually, we provide a more abbreviated and focused report.

    In this year’s report, we provide our overview of some of the most critical issues facing working people in the state. The issues, taken together, are daunting – slow growth in the Wisconsin labor market, long-term stagnation in wages, extreme black/white disparity, increasing income inequality, and declining unionization. The report provides a chance to take stock of what the data say about working people in Wisconsin.

  • The income gap between the rich and the poor remains near its highest level ever, according to this report by the Wisconsin Budget Project and COWS. The wide chasm between the very highest earners and everyone else poses hardships for Wisconsin’s families, communities, and businesses.

  • In Wisconsin, policy makers seem to increasingly assume that work, and work alone, can provide a decent standard of living. However, working families continue to face a slew of challenges – low wages, inadequate benefits, insufficient hours – generated by the very jobs that are supposed to be the answer. This report highlights the disconnect between state policies and the realities of Wisconsin families working in jobs at or near the poverty line.

    The landscape of public support systems is changing in the state of Wisconsin, in the direction of making benefits more difficult to access for people who toil in bad jobs or cannot secure employment at all. A sharp turn toward more accessibility by redesigning the work requirements and better understanding the nature of bad jobs is needed.

  • Wisconsin ended 2016 with 2.93 million jobs. In terms of job growth, the year was not particularly strong or consistent. Wisconsin’s December job total is just slightly above the level reached at the end of the summer. In the last quarter of 2016, the Wisconsin labor market grew by 10,500 jobs, or an average of just over 3,000 jobs per month.

    Wisconsin Job Watch: 4th Quarter 2016 Update marks a change – COWS will now provide a quarterly picture of how Wisconsin’s economy is faring.

  • Dresser, L., M. C. King, and R. Reddy. Oregon Care Economy: The Case for Public Care Investment. COWS, 2017.

    Oregon’s current care economy is vast and largely invisible. Currently underinvested, it creates and exacerbates poverty and inequality. We are missing the opportunity to invest adequately in the care economy in order to build a stronger, more inclusive economy and better life for us all. This report seeks to bring care work into view.

  • This report offers the story of apprenticeship innovation which is remaking apprenticeship for the new and rapidly evolving manufacturing sector.

  • Wisconsin has the regrettable distinction of ranking among the worst states in the nation in terms of racial equality. Various aspects of the disparity – from education to jobs and income to incarceration – have been documented consistently for more than a decade. These disparities are gaining increasing attention from activists and policy makers. Even so, and despite considerable local and statewide efforts to close these gaps, too few in Wisconsin understand the way that Wisconsin’s level of racial inequality is, in fact, dramatically more pronounced than in other states.

    Wisconsin’s Extreme Racial Disparity seeks to support and fuel the efforts of so many who are organizing, strategizing and working to close the gap.

  • , M. B. I., and S. S. T. I. “Big Data and TDM in Northern Virginia”. Northern Virginia TDM Study, Virginia Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment, 2016.

    Commercially available GPS data offers valuable new insight about trip origins, destinations, and routes, including short trips that travel demand models often cannot capture. Using this data, SSTI worked with Michael Baker International, the Virginia DOT, and local stakeholders to identify opportunities for managing travel demand and improving connectivity throughout Northern Virginia. This study also informed the early development of StreetLight Data’s Traffic Diagnostics tool.

    The final technical memo describes the full data set and 17 selected case studies, along with recommended projects and policies, estimated costs, and benefits for each.

  • Transportation researchers and practitioners have long sought other tools to complement or perhaps replace conventional methods—tools that would better analyze trips rather than speed at points in the system, speak to non-auto modes of travel, address land use solutions as well as highway infrastructure, and so on. Barriers to such tools have included lack of data and analytic methods, as well as considerable inertia in practice.

    Fortunately, new sources of data and emerging methods, as well as new-found interest in performance and scenario planning, are yielding the types of tools that the field needs. These fall into two related but distinct categories: 1) trip-making, which looks at complete trips rather than vehicle speeds on system segments, as observed empirically rather than through models, and 2) accessibility, which describes the ease or difficulty involved in reaching destinations on the existing or planned network. The tools share the ability to inform decisions in these ways:

    • By providing area scans to assess behavior and performance,
    • By tracking behavior and performance over time,
    • By diagnosing problems,
    • By assessing solutions,
    • By engaging stakeholders with meaningful, intuitive information.

    This white paper describes SSTI’s work and experience with these tools and practices.

  • Rogers, J. “Foreword: Federalism Bound”. Harvard Law & Policy Review, Vol. 10, no. 2, 2016, pp. 281-97.

    Essays gathered in this symposium of the Harvard Law & Policy Review consider state policy treatment of four issues of national, and even international, importance: global warming, elementary and secondary schooling, gun violence, and mass criminalization