working poor

The working poor: where do we go from here?

Sep 6, 2019

The issue of asset-limited, income-constrained, employed families doesn’t exist in a bubble. It affects the entire community. According to research done by the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, communities with a large population of working poor may experience higher taxes, housing instability and a decline in economic growth.

File photo / WBFO News

Imagine wanting to have the American Dream—the family, the house, the car, the financial stability to live the life you want to live. But also imagine working full time and still not being able to make ends meet.

US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Well beyond living paycheck to paycheck, our community’s working poor, always find there’s more month than money. And while the struggle is the same for anyone who lives it, the number of people of color who fight that battle predominate. 

Thomas O'Neil-White

Being poor is expensive. A 2016 United Way report found 26% of families in Erie County earned income above the federal poverty level, yet could not afford basic necessities to survive.

ALICE Project

It is generally agreed that the federal poverty level is outdated, so a number of other standard-of-living measurements have come into use to help provide a more well-rounded picture of financial hardship across America. The United Way's ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) Project says the latest picture of New York State is "startling."

Chris Caya/WBFO News

Around 100 people turned out for a rally Friday morning at the Gloria Parks Community Center in North Buffalo to support higher wages for the working poor.