A third of working families cannot afford their basic needs: studying

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.

A study by researchers from Brandeis University's Diversitydatakids.org program shows that 35% of American families with full-time jobs can't afford the basics.
A study by researchers from Brandeis University’s Diversitydatakids.org program shows that 35% of American families with full-time jobs can’t afford the basics.
The Russell Sage Foundation
Jesus Montiel, Krista Mason and their daughter Diana, 2, spend time together at their home in Wyoming, where inflation has hit families hard.
Jesus Montiel, Krista Mason and their daughter Diana, 2, spend time together at their home in Wyoming, where inflation has hit families hard.
The Washington Post via Getty Im

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.

People wait in line to receive food packages during a food giveaway by the Alameda County Community Food Bank at Acts Full Gospel Church on July 15, 2022 in Oakland, California.
People wait in line to receive food packages during a food giveaway by the Alameda County Community Food Bank at Acts Full Gospel Church on July 15, 2022 in Oakland, California.
Getty Images
Most of these families would need to earn about $11 more per hour to fully cover basic expenses.
Most of these families would need to earn about $11 more per hour to fully cover basic expenses.
The Russell Sage Foundation

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.

People gather for a rent relief rally at Gov. Kathy Hochul's NYC office on May 06, 2022 in New York City.
People gather for a rent relief rally at Gov. Kathy Hochul’s NYC office on May 06, 2022 in New York City.
Getty Images

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

JACLYN DIAZ

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