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Low Wages Force Working Families to Make Sacrifices

December 13, 2013
By Neal Tepel

New York NY — A recent survey of 300 low wage workers across the city has found that most make half of what is needed to feed, clothe and support their families – with some families falling short by up to nearly $27,000 a year, a shocking new report has found.

Low wages force working families to make sacrifices that hard-working people shouldn’t have to make, said the report from New York Communities for Change (NYCC) and New York Communities Organizing Fund Inc., (NYCOFI). Low wages require many to compromise housing and child care and some must turn to the government for assistance.

Many of these low wage workers do not have health benefits or paid sick days and often lose pay if they have to take a day off for a family medical emergency.

The survey found that it takes between at least $42,000 and $50,000 annually for a family to cover the cost of housing, health care, childcare, food, transportation, taxes and utilities depending on family size. A family with two adults and one child runs a monthly deficit of $1,051, which amounts to approximately $12,609 a year.  A family of two adults and two children is in the hole for about $22,770, while a family of one adult and two children falls short by $26,955. 

There truly are two different worlds in New York City. One where people go home to warm meals and comfortable beds, get health care, vacations and raises, and another world, where people need food stamps despite working two jobs, have been working the same job for years without raises or benefits, are forced to use the emergency room for their health care, and must juggle bills each month to keep the debt collectors away.

December 12, 2013

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