Report: CT 'unaffordable' for many, despite state intervention
Friday, October 6, 2023
A new analysis found financial hardship is growing in Connecticut.
United Way of Connecticut's ALICE Report focuses on those who are Asset Limited, Income Constrained, but Employed. It suggested the direct cause of the issues is a disconnect between wages and the cost of basic essentials. The report showed more than half of the most common jobs in the state paid less than $20 an hour, or $40,000 a year, in 2021.
Lisa Tepper Bates, president and CEO of the United Way of Connecticut, said the state has already taken some steps to make life more affordable.
"The legislature and the governor did a terrific job last session when they were able to increase the state Earned Income Tax Credit, which is based on a percentage of the federal EITC or Earned Income Tax Credit," Tepper Bates explained.
The state raised its tax credit to 40% of the federal level but Tepper Bates pointed out it can only do so much. She noted federal programs initiated during the pandemic, like the expanded federal Child Tax Credit, provided some relief for families. A Columbia University study found the Child Tax Credit kept almost 4 million children out of poverty.
The report also showed a retail salesperson in the state has lost buying power due to inflation. Over 15 years, it equals more than $42,000. Tepper Bates pointed out one shocking finding was how quickly prices have increased across the state.
"It is surprising to a lot of people how very fast the cost of living has gone up," Tepper Bates stressed. "The cost of housing in particular, in Connecticut, has started to tick upwards very, very quickly."
A Connecticut Voices for Children report finds inflation growth in rents grew faster than median household income between 2005 and 2021.
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