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Study finds 35% of American families who work full time don't earn enough to cover basic needs

Affordable Housing New York
Posted at 4:40 PM, Sep 06, 2022

New research found that 35% of families in the United States that work full-time year-round do not have enough money to cover the costs of basic needs.

The study was conducted by researchers at Brandeis University’s program at the Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy.

Researchers said more than half of full-time working Black and Hispanic families cannot afford basic needs. The study showed that 25% of white families and 23% of Asian and Pacific Islander families who work full-time cannot afford basic needs.

According to the study, the situation is especially dire for low-income families with children. The researchers found that 77% of those who work full time do not earn enough to cover housing, food, and child care.

The researchers said that in order for families to afford the necessities, they should be making about $11.00 more per hour.

Black and Hispanic families would need to earn more than $12.00 per hour, the researchers said.

“Full-time work alone isn’t enough to cover the everyday essentials most families need to support themselves, which creates significant financial hurdles to support children,” said Pamela Joshi, Ph.D., senior research scientist and lead study author. “We’re seeing that full-time work provides even fewer necessary resources to Black and Hispanic families. That’s a problem because it drives inequities in child well-being. These results are a wake-up call for decision makers to prioritize policies that address income inequality and racial and ethnic equity and extend real opportunities for economic self-sufficiency.”