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Workers with the lowest wages in the Bay Area made less in 2015 than in 2000, with the lowest income earners in Solano County seeing the biggest drop.

Wages dropped by 17 percent in Solano County from 2000 to 2015, compared to 16 percent in Contra Costa County and 14 percent in Marin and San Mateo counties, according to the Bay Area Equity Atlas.  

In San Francisco, income for the lowest-paid workers slipped 2 percent while income for the highest-paid workers jumped 22 percent, highlighting inequality in the city. 

Here’s how counties rank by income growth (or declines).1. Solano County — -17% 2. Contra Costa County — -16%3. Marin County — -14%4. San Mateo County — -14%5. Sonoma County — -13%6. Santa Clara County — -12%7. Alameda County — -10%8. Napa County — -9%9. San Francisco — -2%[bar color=”Accent-Color” title=”1. Solano County” percent=”-17″][bar color=”Extra-Color-1″ title=”2. Contra Costa County” percent=”-16″][bar color=”Accent-Color” title=”3. Marin County” percent=”-14″][bar color=”Extra-Color-1″ title=”4. San Mateo County” percent=”-14″][bar color=”Accent-Color” title=”5. Sonoma County” percent=”-13″][bar color=”Extra-Color-1″ title=”6. Santa Clara County” percent=”-12″][bar color=”Accent-Color” title=”7. Alameda County” percent=”-10″][bar color=”Extra-Color-1″ title=”8. Napa County” percent=”-9″][bar color=”Accent-Color” title=”9. San Francisco” percent=”-2″]Income inequality among workers in Silicon Valley, defined roughly as Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, was also greater than other parts of the region. San Mateo County workers on the lowest end of the wage spectrum saw their wages drop by 14 percent while the highest-paid workers experienced wage growth of 14 percent, the greatest difference in any Bay Area county. 

Maya Chupkov, spokeswoman  for the Council of Community Housing Organizations, a housing advocacy group, said that one way to create more equality for low-income workers is to build affordable housing that allows them to live more easily. 

“That’s part of the puzzle,” though it’s not a silver bullet, Chupkov said. 

SourceBay Area Equity Atlas; Council of Community Housing Organizations

Keith Burbank is currently a fulltime reporter covering Alameda County and Oakland news for Bay City News. He has also worked on the Data Points project for Local News Matters, finding trends and stories about the region through data. In 2019, he was a California Fellow at the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism, producing a series about homeless deaths in Santa Clara County. He worked as a swing shift editor for the newswire for several years as well. Outside of journalism, Keith enjoys computer programming, math, economics and music.