Almost half of U.S. families can’t afford basics like rent and food

Nation/World
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

The economy may be chugging along, but many Americans are still struggling to afford a basic middle class life.

Nearly 51 million households don’t earn enough to afford a monthly budget that includes housing, food, child care, health care, transportation and a cell phone, according to a study released Thursday by the United Way ALICE Project. That’s 43% of households in the United States.

The figure includes the 16.1 million households living in poverty, as well as the 34.7 million families that the United Way has dubbed ALICE — Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. This group makes less than what’s needed “to survive in the modern economy.”

“Despite seemingly positive economic signs, the ALICE data shows that financial hardship is still a pervasive problem,” said Stephanie Hoopes, the project’s director.

California, New Mexico and Hawaii have the largest share of struggling families, at 49% each. North Dakota has the lowest at 32%.

Many of these folks are the nation’s child care workers, home health aides, office assistants and store clerks, who work low-paying jobs and have little savings, the study noted. Some 66% of jobs in the US pay less than $20 an hour.

The study also drilled down to the county level.

For instance, in Seattle’s King County, the annual household survival budget for a family of four (including one infant and one preschooler) in 2016 was nearly $85,000. This would require an hourly wage of $42.46. But in Washington State, only 14% of jobs pay more than $40 an hour.

Seattle’s City Council just passed a controversial tax on big businesses to help alleviate the city’s growing homelessness and affordable housing problems.

Trademark and Copyright 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

TOP VIDEO

Neighbors Respond About Old Fiesta Closing

Thumbnail for the video titled "Neighbors Respond About Old Fiesta Closing"

Shannon LaNier, A Thomas Jefferson's Descendant on CNN

Thumbnail for the video titled "Shannon LaNier, A Thomas Jefferson's Descendant on CNN"

Fauci: "We're Knee Deep In First Wave Of COVID-19

Thumbnail for the video titled "Fauci: "We're Knee Deep In First Wave Of COVID-19"

Dunkin' Donuts Closing 450 Stores

Thumbnail for the video titled "Dunkin' Donuts Closing 450 Stores"

Official sound - SWAT Robot Gains Entry

Thumbnail for the video titled "Official sound - SWAT Robot Gains Entry"

Scene - PCT4 Constable Deputy Shot

Thumbnail for the video titled "Scene - PCT4 Constable Deputy Shot"

LOCAL COVID-19 PUBLIC THREAT LEVEL

TEXAS COVID-19 CASES

Scattered storms possible

Scattered storms possible

Thumbnail for the video titled "Scattered storms possible"

Days

Hours

Minutes

Seconds

Don't Miss

Latest

More Morning Dose