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Report finds more than a third of Michigan households struggled economically before COVID

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

A new report shows more than a third of Michigan households were struggling even before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The United Way’s 2021 ALICE report documents the challenges facing Michigan’s working poor families.   ‘ALICE’ stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. 

These so-called 'ALICE' families typically work for minimal hourly working wages that do not cover the basic costs of living.  The report’s authors say the economic challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic served to make matters worse for many ‘ALICE’ households.

“The ALICE population was completely unprepared to weather a storm like the one we have faced this past year,” says Mike Larson, the CEO of the Michigan Association of United Ways. 

According to the report, one in four Michigan households are above the poverty line, but make less than the basic cost of living.

Hispanic, Black and single, female-headed with children households are more likely to fall in this category.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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