A new study shows that more than a third of US families who work full-time are not making enough money to meet their most basic needs, including shelter, food and childcare.
Researchers from Brandeis University found that 35% of American families don’t cover their “basic family budget” — the amount needed to pay for rent, food, transportation, medical care, and minimal household expenses — even though they do year-round work full-time.
And the economic situation is worse for working Black and Hispanic families, more than 50% of whom cannot afford basic necessities.
By comparison, a quarter of white families and 23% of Asian and Pacific Islander families struggle to rent and buy groceries despite retaining full-time jobs.
Low-income families with children fare particularly badly, according to the survey, with more than two-thirds of full-time workers not earning enough to make ends meet.
Most of these families would need to earn about $11 more per hour to fully cover basic expenses, or about $23,500 in additional annual income, according to the study.
Meanwhile, black and Hispanic families would have to make more than $12 an hour — an additional $26,500 a year — just to support the family budget.
“These findings are a wake-up call for policymakers to prioritize actions that address income inequality and racial and ethnic equality and expand real opportunities for economic self-sufficiency,” said Dr. Pamela Joshi, senior research scientist and lead author of the study.
The study, based on 98,000 households, also found that more than half of low-income Hispanic families have no health insurance and more than three-quarters have no pensions.
“When families cannot afford their basic needs, it puts a strain on parents’ health and increases the likelihood that children will continue to lack resources and opportunities to support their well-being,” said study co-author Dr. Dolores Acevedo-Garcia.
The study offers several recommendations for policymakers to improve the economic prospects for low-income families, including creating more jobs that provide a living wage, expanding income support, and paid family and sick leave.
The survey results are based on data from 2015-2019, before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, which wreaked havoc on the job market, and before recent spikes in inflation, gas and food prices.
https://nypost.com/2022/09/07/third-of-working-families-cant-afford-basic-needs-study/ A third of working families cannot afford their basic needs: studying