More than a third of families don’t earn enough to cover rent, groceries and other basic expenses needed to run the household, even if they work full-time jobs year-round, according to a new study.
About 35 percent of working families are unable to meet their weekly expenses for housing, food, medical care, transportation, childcare and other expenses, says the Brandeis University study, based on 98,000 households.
Though gas prices fell to $3.78 a gallon and inflation fell to 8.5 percent in July, the economy and rising prices remain the top concerns for millions of cash-strapped voters heading into November’s midterm elections.
“Full-time work alone is not enough to cover the day-to-day necessities most families need to support themselves, creating significant financial barriers to supporting children,” said Pamela Joshi, lead author of the 29-page study.
The situation is worse for Hispanic and black families, the report adds. More than half cannot afford basic needs, compared with a quarter of white families and 23 percent of Asian and Pacific Islander families.
Jesus Montiel, Krista Mason and their daughter Diana, 2, spend time together at their home in Afton, Wyoming, where inflation is making it even harder for working parents to manage a household
Respondents to the latest KFF and The Wall Street Journal polls named the economy and inflation as one of their priorities ahead of the midterm elections
Poor working families need an hourly pay rise of $11 an hour — or about $23,500 in annual income — to buy the basics and make ends meet, the report says, according to the Institute for Child’s study , Youth and Family College Politics.
Even then, the researchers say, higher wages should be matched with more job training opportunities, childcare allowances, and better health services to help financially-struggled families thrive.
Virginia mum-of-three Kelly Hopkins told DailyMail.com how her family has been struggling as prices soar, even though she and her husband Matt work 40-hour weeks and earn a combined annual income of $130,000.
“It’s so bad, and we’re not at the bottom end of the pay scale,” Hopkins said, noting that high food and energy costs were the biggest dents in their bank accounts.
“At first we did everything well and rescheduled our summer, including canceling our holiday, but with inflation we’re getting poorer and poorer every month and now we’re a month-to-month family. People can’t afford food after working 40 hours a week.”
Voters in recent polls named the economy, inflation, borders, security, gun violence and access to abortion as the issues most likely to be voted on in November’s midterm elections that will decide which party controls Congress.
In a Wall Street Journal poll this month, nearly two-thirds of registered voters said the economy was either “not good” or “bad,” and nearly two-thirds said the pain of higher costs made them more likely to do so , to choose a poll.
A KFF poll last month found that three-quarters of registered voters said inflation and gas prices were “very important” for their mid-term vote. Gun violence, access to abortion, and prescription drug costs were also major concerns.
The consumer price index, which measures the changing prices of a basket of consumer goods, rose 8.5 percent year-on-year in July – still worryingly high, but lower than the 40-year record of 9.1 percent set in June was set up.
Discount stores have boomed as shoppers hunted for bargains amid high inflation, including this August at this Family Dollar store in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood
High rents in Chicago increased the cost of living for Micaeh Johnson and her seven-year-old daughter. In the US, Hispanic and black families struggle more than white to keep up with the cost of living