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Report: More Connecticut Residents Are Struggling to Make Ends Meet

By Ann-Marie Adams, Staff Writer

HARTFORD — About 40 percent of Connecticut households are struggling to make ends meet.

That’s according to the Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed (ALICE) report by Connecticut United Way.

Of Connecticut’s 1,357,269 households, 10 percent lived in poverty in 2016. And another 30 percent were above the poverty threshold but struggling financially.

That 30 percent is known as ALICE.  ALICE population consists of households with income above the federal poverty level but below the basic cost of living. ALICE are, therefore, people making too much money to qualify for federal assistance but not enough money to meet basic needs such as housing, transportation, food, childcare and health care.

Combined, 40 percent , or 538,529 households, had income below the cost of living in Connecticut.

This information comes at a time when the unemployment rate has declined and others boast of booming economic times.

“At a time when we’re hearing good economic news, it’s surprising to see the working poor is increasing,” said Stephanie Hoops, lead researcher and director of the ALICE Project. “The economic prosperity is not reaching all households yet.”

The cost of basic household expenses increased steadily in Connecticut to $77,832 for a family of four (two adults with one infant and one preschooler) and $24,672 for a single adult.

In Connecticut, 45 percent of jobs paid less than $20 per hour in 2016. At the same time, many ALICE workers are still struggling possible because of an increase in contract jobs and on-demand jobs that created less stability. And gaps in wages persist.

Moreover, ALICE families are not just concentrated in Connecticut’s cities.

“ALICE families live in every town and every city in the state,” said President and CEO of Connecticut United Way Richard Porth.

In each Connecticut town at least 10 percent of families are ALICE households. And about half of families do not have enough savings to cover living expenses if they have unexpected expenses such as illness or a major car repair.

Featured Photo: Courtesy of Getty Image.

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