United Way ALICE Report - UPDATED
UNITED WAY ALICE PROJECT
- The Household Survival Budget identifies the minimum cost for each of the seven basic household items needed to live and work in today's economy: housing, child care, food, transportation, technology, taxes, and health care. The cost of these expenses increased steadily in every parish in Louisiana since 2010.
- Single adults now need an annual salary of over $21,000, while a family of four needs an annual salary of over $58,000 - just to afford the basics.
- Gaps in wages are growing wider and vary depending on employer size and location as well as the gender, education, and race/ethnicity of workers.
- An increase in contract and on-demand jobs is leading to less financial stability and health care coverage.
When parents cannot work due to limited or inaccessible child care, consequences are twofold - the child may not gain early-learning skills necessary for success in kindergarten and beyond, and the parent has to forgo work, limiting future earning potential.
Ownership of assets can contribute to stability of households. Yet few families in Southeast Louisiana own assets, such as a savings account, 401(k), or rental income, that are readily available to cover emergencies.
United Way continues to advocate for sound public policy to draw down millions of dollars back into our communities and the pockets of those struggling to get by financially. These policy advancements address the high cost of child care in our region, promote re-entry efforts that help ALICE households move up the ladder, and ensure that all families are safe and can afford necessary health care in times of great need.