AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Adrianna Cuellar Rojas, president and CEO of United Ways of Texas and local United Way CEOs are available for interviews. Join a Facebook Live press conference, hosted on United Ways of Texas Facebook page, at 10 a.m. Jan. 29, 2019. State and local United Way leaders, Stephanie Hoopes, Ph.D., director of the National ALICE Project, and Texas ALICE families will discuss the new Texas ALICE Report, found at https://www.uwtexas.org/alice-texas.
New research shows that in Texas, 4,025,176 households — 42 percent — could not afford basic needs such as housing, child care, food, transportation, health care, and technology in 2016, according to the Texas ALICE Report which United Ways of Texas releases today.
ALICE, which stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed, places a spotlight on a large population of hardworking residents who work at low-paying jobs, have little or no savings — and are one emergency from falling into poverty. It is the most comprehensive depiction of financial need in the state to date, using data from a variety of sources, including the U.S. Census.
"There is a basic belief in Texas that if you work hard, you can support yourself and your family. Yet the Texas ALICE Report shows that for more than 4 million households in Texas, this is not the case. ALICE families are working households. They hold jobs, pay taxes and provide services that are vital to the economy of our state and all of our communities," said Adrianna Cuellar Rojas, President and CEO of United Ways of Texas. "For ALICE, one setback, one car repair, one natural disaster or even a minor illness may escalate quickly and leave a family vulnerable and spiraling."
The ALICE Project develops data resources to move beyond stereotypes and judgments of "the poor," and instead encourages the use of data to inform programmatic and policy solutions for those households and their communities.
"ALICE families live in every corner of the state, from large cities with fast-growing populations to rural areas facing decline," said Stephanie Hoopes, Ph.D., the report's author and chief researcher. "The big cities are enjoying strong economic growth, but the costs of household basics are increasing faster than wages. In rural areas, economic activity is slowing, the population is aging, and families are struggling to find jobs that can cover their basic necessities."
The 135-page Texas ALICE Report, along with 508 pages of individual county/municipal data and 255 pages of county Household Survival, reveals many points of data, including:
- Low-wage jobs continue to dominate the landscape in Texas, with 62 percent of all jobs paying less than $20 per hour. With more contract work and on-demand jobs, job instability has increased, making it difficult for ALICE workers to meet regular monthly expenses or to save. In addition, gaps in wages varied based on the type of employer as well as the gender, education, race, and ethnicity of workers.
- The average Household Survival Budget (a calculation created for the ALICE report) for a Texas family of four is $52,956 — significantly higher than the federally recognized family poverty level of $24,300. (The Single Household Survival Budget is $19,428, with the FDL set at $11,880.)
The ALICE Report provides county-by-county, town-level data and analysis of how many households are struggling.
"ALICE is a waitress, a personal care aide, a retail sales clerk or mechanic — people we all interact with daily," said Rojas. "This report brings to life and puts a face and name to those hardworking Texans who earn enough to exceed the Federal Poverty Line but earn too much to receive most public assistance — and so they struggle daily."
If you, your service organization, your non-profit, government agency or church would like more information about ways to use the ALICE data or work with your United Way to improving the lives of those struggling to make ends meet across Texas, please contact us.
United Ways of Texas and United Way of Greater Houston are proud to sponsor the Texas ALICE Report. We are also grateful to Entergy for sponsoring the printing of this report.
About United Ways of Texas
The mission of the United Ways of Texas is to integrate action and resources for the common good. UWT is an association working with local United Ways across the state representing 254 counties. Together we work across our communities to tackle common challenges that affect our local communities but are bigger than any of us — challenges our entire state faces. Along with United Ways across the country, we are part of a global network of more than 1,800 United Ways, servicing communities in 41 countries. For more information, go to www.uwtexas.org.
United Ways of Texas contact: Roxanne Jones
SOURCE United Ways of Texas