Number of Iowa Households That Can’t Meet Basic Needs Is Alarming
A new report done by the United Way has found that over one-third of Iowa residents can't afford the cost of living. The 2018 ALICE report released on Tuesday found that 37% of Iowans are not able to meet basic needs. That is up substantially from 31% in 2016.
ALICE stands for Asset-limited, Income Constrained, Employed. The report, which is sponsored by Alliant Energy, looks at Iowans who work at low paying jobs, have little or no savings, and are just one financial emergency away from falling into poverty. Researchers say that the study shows that it's not just people living below the poverty line that are struggling.
The 2018 ALICE study found that the statewide cost of a family budget increased by 41% since 2010, to $56,000 for a family of four. That number is more than four times the national rate of inflation during that time period which was around 9%. And while the rate of inflation continues to soar, two-thirds of Iowa's jobs make less than $20 an hour.
Some lawmakers point at the study as a reason to raise the minimum wage in the state. Others say that there is no quick fix to the problem.