United Way 2018 ALICE Report shows post-recession recovery elusive for low-income workers

40 percent of Miami-Dade households considered ALICE; 19 percent live in poverty

United Way of Miami-Dade today released its ALICE Report, which identifies 354,294 households, roughly 40 percent of all Miami-Dade households, as ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed), and another 19 percent as living in poverty. The updated report uses 2016 point-in-time data to establish a family Household Survival Budget, a bare-bones minimum monthly budget. According to the report, a family of four with two small children needs to earn at least $61,368 to cover basic living expenses in Miami-Dade.

ALICE families have not been able to keep step with the increasing cost of living and are vulnerable to financial hardships. Despite the overall improvement in employment and gains in median income in Florida, the economic recovery has been uneven as ALICE households continue to face challenges from reduced work hours, low wages, natural disasters and increasing cost of living. ALICE families are hardworking members of the community who are employed, earn more than the Federal Poverty Level, yet struggle to cover: housing, child care, food, transportation, health care and necessary technology that has become a commonplace expectation for employment. They have little or no savings and are one emergency away from falling into poverty.

“The ALICE report aims to make the invisible visible by shining a light on the growing number of families who face financial insecurity every day,” Maria C. Alonso, United Way of Miami-Dade, president and CEO, said. “To foster economic mobility and a prosperous community, solutions must be short- and long-term, comprehensive and interconnected, and must include nonprofits, businesses and policymakers working together on common goals.”

To learn more about how United Way of Miami-Dade is helping ALICE families, visit www.UnitedWayMiami.org/ALICE.

Over the past two years, Miami-Dade has witnessed how one emergency can destabilize families. After Hurricane Irma, hundreds of thousands of people stood in lines for emergency food assistance as a result of additional expenses and missed wages due to the storm. And most recently, news media highlighted the struggles of federal employees when they missed a month of pay.

Traditional measures of poverty do not capture the magnitude of people who are struggling financially – and that’s where the ALICE Report steps in. The report provides a holistic snapshot of financial insecurity at the state, county and municipal level.

Since the last report, which used 2015 data, the ALICE population in Miami-Dade grew by 3 percent, to 40 percent. While ALICE grew, poverty shrank 2 percent, and households who earned just above the ALICE threshold fell into ALICE by 1 percent. When combined, 59 percent of all Miami-Dade Households continue to struggle in Miami-Dade.

Miami-Dade by the numbers:

  • Population: 2,712,945
  • Number of households: 880,766
  • Median Household Income: $45,935; (state average $50,860)
  • Households facing poverty: 169,904(19%); (state average 14%)
  • ALICE Households: 354,294 (40%); (state average 32%)
  • Households above ALICE Threshold: 356,568 (41%)
  • Unemployment rate: 5.9%; (state average: 6.0%)

A closer look at different types of households in Miami-Dade:

  • Married with children: 151,090 households (29% ALICE; 14% poverty)
  • Single female-headed, with children: 76,567 households (40% ALICE; 44% poverty)
  • Single male-headed, with children: 23,312 households (47% ALICE; 26% poverty)
  • Headed by 65+: 217,800 households (44% ALICE; 27% poverty)

Statewide, 46 percent of households are facing the same financial challenges. The statewide Median Household Income average is $50,860, while the average Household Survival Budget is $55,164. In Miami-Dade the gap widens, as the Household Survival Budget is 61,368, while the Median Household Income is $45,935.

“ALICE families live throughout Florida and they are made up of hardworking individuals who want to work, remain independent and self-sufficient, and yet many families are living paycheck-to-paycheck and are often just one unexpected bill, illness or natural disaster from falling into poverty,” added Florida State Representative Holly Raschein. “In recognizing the financial hardship faced by these families every day, we are better placed to create strategies for positive change.”

Florida is one of 18 states that have ALICE reports published. The research is supported in part by the Aetna Foundation, AT&T, Atlantic Health System, Deloitte, Entergy, Johnson & Johnson, KeyBank, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, OneMain Financial, RWJBarnabas Health, Thrivent Financial Foundation, Union Bank &Trust, UPS, and U.S. Venture.

To read the Report and find county-by-county and town-level data on the size and demographics of ALICE, visit www.UnitedWayALICE.org/Florida with the case sensitive password LiveUnitedFL.

2019-02-06T11:52:42-04:00 February 6th, 2019|