July 18, 2017
BENEFITING: UNITED WAY INC
EVENT DATE: Jul 10, 2017
Who is ALICE?
We all know ALICE - Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. ALICE families have household incomes above the Federal Poverty Level, but below a basic cost-of-living threshold. The Connecticut Report is a study of financial hardships in our state. ALICE may be your family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues, and represents every race, ethnicity and gender. She lives in every area of our state. ALICE is your nursing assistant, childcare worker, home health aide, car mechanic, security guard, teaching assistant, store clerk, and office assistant – workers essential to every community’s success, but who struggle to survive on what these jobs pay.
NBC Connecticut's Heidi Voight shares her story about growing up in a household with a single mother of five children and their daily struggles to make ends meet:
Key highlights demonstrate the ongoing struggles of ALICE households and their obstacles to achieving financial stability.
• Struggling Households: Using FPL criteria, 11 percent (143,172) of Connecticut’s 1.36 million households lived in poverty in 2014. Another 27 percent (361,521) were ALICE. Combined, more than one-third of Connecticut’s households were ALICE or in poverty.
• Basic Cost of Living: The cost of basic household expenses increased steadily in every county in Connecticut between 2007 and 2014, on average increasing by 14 percent, the same as the national rate of inflation. The average annual Household Survival Budget for a Connecticut family of four (two adults with one infant and one preschooler) ranges from $66,168 to $73,716 – more than triple the U.S. family poverty rate of $23,850.
• Low-wage Jobs: Almost half of all jobs in the state paid less than $20 per hour – a wage that is not quite enough to afford the family Household Survival Budget. Two thirds of these jobs paid between $10 and $15 per hour.
• Public Assistance for ALICE: Government and nonprofit programs provide resources that supplement the income earned by ALICE and poverty-level households in Connecticut. Public and private assistance supplied 11.9 percent of the income needed for all households to reach the ALICE Threshold. The biggest change between 2012 and 2014 was a significant drop in spending for health care, which still equaled three-quarters of all government and nonprofit spending.
• Emerging Trends: Several trends could change the economic landscape for ALICE families: ○ The Connecticut population is aging, and many seniors do not have the resources they need to support themselves. ○ Differences by race and ethnicity persist, creating challenges for many ALICE families, as well as for immigrants in Connecticut. ○ Low-wage jobs are projected to grow faster than higher-wage jobs over the next decade. ○ Technology is changing the workplace, adding some jobs, replacing many others, while also changing where people work, the hours they work, and skills required. Technology creates opportunities as well as challenges for ALICE workers.