Forty Percent of NYC’s Working Families Don’t Make Enough to Afford Basics, a New Study Shows

(URBAN MATTERS) June 17, 2019

With the cost of living rising at nearly three times the rate of wages, 2.5 million working-age New Yorkers are struggling to provide food, housing, and other basic necessities for their families. United Way of New York City, The Women’s Center for Education and Career Advancement, City Harvest, and The New York Community Trust are proud to release “Overlooked & Undercounted 2019: The Self-Sufficiency Standard for New York City,” a study that determines the amount of income necessary to meet the basic needs of working families without public or private assistance.  

This analysis is based on the “Self-Sufficiency Standard,” a realistic, geographically specific, and family composition-specific measure of income adequacy determined for more than 700 family types in each of the boroughs, and thus a more accurate alternative to the official poverty measure. The standard includes the full costs of basic needs for working families, including housing, food, health care, child care, transportation, payroll taxes and tax credits, and other miscellaneous expenses. Families struggling to make ends meet live in every neighborhood in New York City. This nuanced measure reflects the higher costs facing some families and the geographic diversity of costs among boroughs.