Many Americans struggle to pay basics

About 34 million — of households that live above the poverty line but cannot pay for ordinary expenses like phone bills, rent and child care.

via axios:

Now, a new study begins to show the scale of the problem: at a time of rock-bottom joblessness, high corporate profits and a booming stock market, more than 40% of U.S. households can’t pay the basics of a middle-class lifestyle — rent, transportation, child care and a cell phone, according to a new study.

Quick take: The study, conducted by United Way, found a wide band of working U.S. households that live above the official poverty line but below the cost of paying ordinary expenses. Based on 2016 data, there were 34.7 million households in that group — double the 16.1 million who are in actual poverty, project director Stephanie Hoopes tells Axios.

  • The United Way study, to be released publicly tomorrow, suggests that the economically forgotten are a far bigger group than many studies assume — and, according to Hoopes, appear to be growing larger.

By the numbers: The study found that North Dakota has the smallest combined population of poor and those between the poverty line and the middle class, at 32% of its households. The largest is 49%, in California, Hawaii and New Mexico. “49% is shocking. 32% is also shocking,” Hoopes said.

 

AC

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