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US Families Can't Afford Basics Like Housing, Food, Study Finds

Image: US Families Can't Afford Basics Like Housing, Food, Study Finds
Many U.S. families can't afford basics to live a middle-class life, a study found. (Falconstock/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Thursday, 17 May 2018 06:56 PM

Forty-three percent of U.S. families can’t afford many of the basics of middle-class life such as housing, food, child care, healthcare, transportation, and a cell phone, according to a new study by the United Way ALICE Project

That translates into 51 million households, made up of 16.1 million below the the poverty line 34.7 million families United Way dubs as ALICE — Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.

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

The states of California, New Mexico, and Hawaii have the most struggling families at 49 percent each, the study showed. Some of the jobs that pay below the amount needed include child care workers, home health aides, office assistants, and store clerks.

Sixty-six percent of U.S. jobs pay less than $20 per hour, CNN Money noted. 

U.S. unemployment rates recently dropped below 4 percent, which has not happened since 2000, but having a job may not be enough to afford middle-class life basics.

The low unemployment rates may force employers to raise wages to attract scarce talent. Inflation is also rising, however, as gas prices get closer to $3 a gallon and companies say they may need to raise prices as well, CNN Money reported. 

Around 2.7 million jobs were created during President Donald Trump’s first 15 months in office, which added to the 3.1 million jobs created during former President Barack Obama’s final 15 months in office, CNN Money reported. 

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Forty-three percent of U.S. families can't afford many of the basics of middle-class life such as housing, food, child care, healthcare, transportation, and a cell phone, according to a new study by the United Way ALICE Project.
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Thursday, 17 May 2018 06:56 PM
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