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Measuring Success - Economy


Healthy Economy
Measuring Success

The Healthy Economy Indicators in this toolkit lists a series of indicators for local jurisdictions to track depending on the policy or plan at stake.


  • Consider implementing SMART (Specific, Measurable, Agreed Upon, Realistic, Time-Bound) goals in order to accurately track and measure goals and deliverables, as well as effectively communicate and share the information with county/municipal agencies and stakeholders.
  • . When data is available, indicators should be disaggregated by race, gender, and income to inform the planning process, implementation policies and achieve optimal results.
  • Measure selected economic indicators every two years and present the results in the form of a “report card.” Present bi-annual reports to the City Council on the status of implementation of the priority policies, actions, and progress made according to selected indicators.

Equitable Growth​

  • Income Inequality (Gini Index): Income inequality is the unequal distribution of household income compared to the number of households, which can be measured with the Gini Index. A score of 0 represents complete equality and a score of 1 represents complete inequality.(Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey (ACS))
  • Self-sufficiency: Self-sufficiency wage is the wage needed to pay for all basic expenses and taxes for a household. This includes housing, transportation, food, and childcare costs. This measure is more accurate for assessing living expenses than the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) because it is a more comprehensive measure that accounts for geographical differences in cost of living. (Source: Insight Center’s 2014 Self-Sufficiency Standard for California)
  • Median Household Income: Household income is the sum of every person’s income in a household. Median household income is the midway point of all household incomes, where half of the households in San Mateo County earn less and the other half earn more. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey (ACS))
  • Per capita income: Per capita income is the average income for each person. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey (ACS))
  • Industry Strength Index: Industry Employment Projections based on growing industries that pay living wages and provide career paths. It combines size of the industry + Concentration (LQ)+ job quality (LW) + projected growth.(Source: National Equity Atlas”


  • Jobs paying at least self-sufficiency wage: Jobs paying wages greater than or equal to the self-sufficiency wage. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistic’s Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey)
  • Job openings and educational requirements: Proportion of job openings available to individuals without a college degree. (Source: California Employment Development Department, Occupations in Demand estimates:
  • Occupation Opportunity Index: Occupations that are projected to grow and offer living wage jobs. It combines job quality indicators (median annual wage) with growth indicators ( real wage growth, change in # of jobs, % change in # of jobs, median age of workers) (Source: National Equity Atlas:”
    Worker residents: Proportion of residents who both live and work in San Mateo County/Local Jurisdiction(Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey (ACS))
    Unemployment: Unemployment includes people who are actively looking for work but are not employed. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey (ACS))
  • Travel Time to Work: Average amount of time (in minutes) it takes a neighborhood resident to commute to work. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey (ACS))
  • Employment Rate To Population Ratio of Workers Ages: Proportion of neighborhood residents employed (Based on working age of 15- 64 years).(Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey (ACS))

Small Businesses

  • Small Businesses: Number of small businesses by sector (Source: U.S. Census Bureau; County Business Patterns)
  • Minority Owned Businesses: Percent of minority owned businesses. (Source: U.S. Census Survey of Business Owners (SBO))
  • Business Retention: Rate of increase or decrease in the number of neighborhood businesses from the previous year. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau; County Business Patterns)
  • Local Business Vitality: Proportion of small (0-4 employees), locally-owned businesses in the neighborhood. (Source:Table: CBXX00CZ21: ZIP Code Business Statistics: Total for Zip Code 20XX Business Patterns (use most recently available year as indicated by “XX”), U.S. Census)

Financial Security

  • Poverty: The Federal Poverty Level (FPL) is the standard measure based on household size and income, where a person living below 100% FPL earns less than $11,880 a year and a family of four earns less than $24,300 a year. Because of the high cost of living in San Mateo County, 200% FPL (double the national income threshold of 100% FPL) is a better estimate for the number of households who live in poverty. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey (ACS))
  • Child Poverty: Population Under Age 18 at or Below 200% FPL(Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey (ACS))
  • Public Assistance Income: Percentage of households receiving public assistance income. Public assistance income includes general assistance and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). Separate payments received for hospital or other medical care (vendor payments) are excluded. This does not include Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or noncash benefits such as Food Stamps. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey (ACS))
  • Access to Mainstream Financial Services: Proportion of un- and underbanked households within a neighborhood. (Source: FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households,