At a press conference last week at the Legislative Office Building, Connecticut United Ways joined elected officials, nonprofit leaders and families to share the findings of the 2023 ALICE Report, a data-driven, comprehensive research report that provides a look at financial hardship for households across Connecticut that are ALICE – Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.
- Financial hardship continues to grow in Connecticut – 39% of Connecticut households (552,710) had income below the ALICE Threshold of Financial Survival in 2021, more than 54,000 additional households compared to 2019.
- The problem is a mismatch between wages and the cost of basics – 43% of cashiers (a common occupation in Connecticut) were below the ALICE Threshold (the bare minimum cost of essentials) in 2021. Earning a median wage of $13.80/hour, these workers could not even afford a Household Survival Budget ($16.56/hour) for one person employed full-time.
- Racial and gender disparities persist – a result of multiple factors including persistent racism, gender discrimination and geographic barriers.
- Pandemic-related enhancements to federal benefits have expired, increasing the strain – In 2021, the enhanced federal Child Tax Credit and Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit contributed $15,204 to the household budget of two working adults with one infant and one toddler.
- The rising costs of household essentials are putting financial stability further out of reach – With the cost of basics climbing higher and ALICE wages failing to keep up, workers have lost buying power. With a projected 18.2% rate of inflation, the costs of basics statewide in 2023 could be as high as $126,000 for a family of four and $39,000 for a single adult.