New ALICE report details the financial struggle of Louisiana families

Louisiana

CADDO PARISH, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – An extensive research study examines who is living paycheck to paycheck in Louisiana and why.

The United Way released its latest “ALICE” report, which describes the financial situations of working families.

Working everyday, but still struggling to get by – that’s how the United Way describes ALICE.

“ALICE stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. We all know Alice. Alice is the hard worker who waits on our table, fixes our car, checks us out at grocery store. Cares for our elderly and young. Alice earns more than the federal poverty level but not enough to meet the basics,” said Sarah Berthelot, Louisiana Association of United Ways President & CEO.

The new ALICE report shows that in 2018, 51% of people in Louisiana struggled financially. 18% met the federal poverty level, while 33% met the ALICE criteria. All of which have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

“Alice is just one emergency away from spiraling away into a financial crisis. For many, COVID-19 became that one universal emergency,” Berthelot said.

The ALICE report is heavily-detailed, 183 pages worth, and broken down by parish. In Caddo Parish, 58% qualify as ALICE. Bossier is 43%.

The top three categories who fall under ALICE include seniors, black families, and households led by a single female with children.

“So in 2018 when the national economy was often described as strong, the reality was that over 890,000 in Louisiana, over half of households in the state, struggled to support themselves,” said Dr. Ashley Anglin, United for Alice National Team.

The ALICE report also has a new section called the “Benefits of Moving Toward Equity in Louisiana.” It said if every household was brought to the ALICE level and above, the economic benefit for the state would be $55.3 billion.

Others parishes in Northwest Louisiana are listed as :

Claiborne Parish – 71% meet the ALICE threshold
Natchitoches – 66%
Red River – 59%
Bienville – 58%
Desoto – 51%

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