SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— According to the U.S. Census Bureau poverty and median income levels in the United States are holding steady, but what does that mean for the Bay Area?

Median income and poverty levels in 2012 were statistically unchanged from 2011, but western states, including California, did slightly better.

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Sarah Bohn with the Public Poverty Institute said these numbers potentially are good news since median income didn’t fall and the poverty didn’t rise.

“The west region actually is one of the few areas in the country that saw an improvement in their poverty rate from the year before, unlike the U.S. overall, where we see essentially no change,” she said.

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Bohn said that poverty rates tend to be lower in the Bay Area, but she added that there is a significant disparity between the lower and upper income workers.

“There is a lot of variation in terms of the opportunities for people, especially according to their level of training,” Bohn said. “Most of the job growth that we’ve seen over the last few years of recovery has been concentrated in industries and occupations that require workers who have some college or at least post high-school training.”

Bohn said education opportunities are the key for lower-income workers to pull themselves out of poverty.

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