From: The Council of State Governments
To: David Lifferth,
Subject: Capitol Research: State Median Household Income, Sales Taxes and Government Employment
Date: Wed Jan 29 19:21:21 MST 2014

January 2014


The Council of State Governments is pleased to offer state leaders a variety of publications focused on today's most important policy issues. Through CSG's Capitol Research series, CSG policy experts examine the ways key issues are impacting your state, how the issues are evolving and how your state can respond--now and in the future. A complete list of available resources can be found on the CSG Knowledge Center.

State Median Household Income

State median household income in 2012 ranged from a low of $36,641 in Mississippi to a high of $71,836 in Maryland. Median income has been on the decline since the recession, falling 8.3 percent since 2007. More...




Sales Taxes


Forty-five states levy a general statewide sales tax, with rates ranging from 2.9 cents to 7.5 cents per dollar. During the past decade, sales tax rates have remained relatively stable, with few states making significant changes to them. While rates have remained stable, depressed consumer spending has led to declines in total sales tax revenue and many states continue to struggle to get back to pre-recessionary levels of revenue. More...



Government Employment 

The Great Recession had an unprecedented effect on state and local government employment. From a peak level of employment in 2008 to its lowest point in July 2013, state governments lost more than 150,000 jobs. Since July 2013, however, state government employment job losses have leveled off, and 35,000 jobs were added between July and November 2013. More...


Pre-K Access and Funding

The 2011-12 school year was a difficult one for pre-K advocates as state funding fell and, after a decade of growth, pre-K enrollment stalled. More...



Unemployment Rates


In November 2013, the national unemployment rate fell to 7 percent, the lowest level in five years. After hitting a post-recessionary high of 10 percent in October 2009, the unemployment rate has fallen slowly and steadily, but remains 2 percentage points higher than it was when the recession began in December 2007. More...



Minimum Wage Watch 2014


States in 2014 will be addressing increasingly difficult labor issues, including concerns over raising the minimum wage. President Obama and some members of Congress have called for an increase in the federal minimum wage, but a few states already have taken action. Legislators and voters in five states decided to raise the minimum wage in 2013 and more states are likely to consider the issue in 2014. More...


States Tighten Vaccine Exemptions
for Kindergartners


Vaccination coverage among childrenin kindergarten during the 2012-13 school year is approaching the People 2020 goal of 95 percent, but rates among states vary significantly. For instance, MMR vaccine coverage among kindergartners ranged from 85.7 percent in Colorado to more than 99.9 percent in Mississippi. States with lower rates of vaccine coverage have begun to re-examine their laws on parental exemptions and tighten the requirements. California, Colorado, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington are highlighted. More...


Health Insurance Marketplace Enrollments Up


After a slow start, especially for the federally run health insurance marketplace serving 36 states, nearly 365,000 Americans made it through the application process and selected a health insurance plan, according to data released in December by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The number selecting a plan in November was more than double the number in October, the first month the marketplaces were operational. More...


In This Issue
» State Median Household Income
» Sales Taxes
» Government Employment
» Pre-K Access and Funding
» Unemployment Rates
» Minimum Wage Watch 2014
» States Tighten Vaccine Exemptions for Kindergartners
» Health Insurance Marketplace Enrollments Up





Economists Urge Federal Action
on Minimum Wage



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