Even by working full-time year-round, more than a third of families don’t earn enough to cover the rent, groceries and other basic expenses needed to run a household, according to a new study.
About 35 percent of working families can’t afford their weekly expenses for housing, food, medical care, transportation, childcare and other expenses, says Brandeis University research based on 98,000 households.
While gas prices have fallen to $3.78 a gallon and inflation dropped to 8.5 percent in July, the economy and rising prices remain a major concern for millions of voters strapped for cash ahead of the midterm elections. from Nov.
“Full-time work alone is not enough to cover the daily necessities most families need to support themselves, which poses significant financial hurdles to supporting children,” said Pamela Joshi, lead author of the 29-page book. study.
The situation is worse for Hispanic and black families, the report adds. More than half cannot afford basic necessities, 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 has made it even harder for working parents to run a household
Respondents to recent KFF and The Wall Street Journal polls have named the economy and inflation as one of their priorities in the run-up to the midterm elections
Poor working families would need an hourly wage of $11 an hour — or about $23,500 in annual income — to buy the basics and make ends meet, the report said, according to the study from the Institute for Child, Youth and Social Welfare. University family. Policy.
Even then, the researchers said, higher wages should be accompanied by greater vocational training opportunities, childcare subsidies and better health care benefits to help families in need of money.
Virginia, mother of three, Kelly Hopkins, told DailyMail.com how her family struggled with rising prices, despite her and husband Matt working 40 hours a week and earning an annual income of $130,000.
“It’s so bad, and we’re not at the lower end of the pay scale,” said Hopkins, noting that the high cost of groceries and energy caused the biggest dents in their bank accounts.
“At first we did well and rescheduled our summer, including canceling our vacation, but with inflation every month we are getting poorer and poorer, and now we are a family month by month. People can no longer afford food after working 40 hours a week.’
Voters in recent polls have named the economy, inflation, border, security, gun violence and access to abortions among the topics most likely to vote in November’s midterm elections, which will decide which party controls Congress.
In a survey this month by The Wall Street Journal, 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 vote. to release. mood.
A KFF opinion poll last month, three-quarters of registered voters said inflation and gas prices were “very important” to their midterm vote. Gun violence, access to abortion and the cost of prescription drugs were also top concerns.
The consumer price index, which measures the changing prices of a basket of consumer goods, rose 8.5 percent in July from last year — still alarmingly high, but below the 40-year record of 9.1 percent set in June .
Discount stores have boomed as shoppers hunted for bargains amid high inflation, including at this Family Dollar store in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood in August.
High rents in Chicago added to the cost of living for Micaeh Johnson and her seven-year-old daughter. In the US, Hispanic and black families struggle more than whites to keep up with the cost of living