Data Shows Financial Hardship Continues in SA Despite Wage Increases - United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County

Data Shows Financial Hardship Continues in SA Despite Wage Increases

Nearly half of all residents living paycheck to paycheck
  • June 4, 2024
Data Shows Financial Hardship Continues in SA Despite Wage Increases - United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County
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A new report shows that almost half of all Bexar County households are living with financial hardship. Despite increases in wages for many of the most common jobs in Texas, residents in Bexar County are making sacrifices every day to make ends meet.

46% of households in Bexar County earn less than what is required to make ends meet in the current economy. This means that 344,827 households in Bexar County earn wages below the cost of living. The data in this new report was collected in 2022 as pandemic-era programs, tax credits and other support systems ended.

While wages across the state of Texas increased by as much as 26% in some of the most common jobs like retail salesclerk, stockers, fast food and counter workers, that was not enough to offset the rising costs of child care, housing, food and other critical items for a household to get by.

Despite growth in wages, the percentage of households living with financial hardship stayed flat in 2022, compared to 2021, at 46% of Bexar County, due to rising cost and loss of expanded tax credits many families had access to in 2021.

Want to test the survival budget for yourself? You can use the Survival Budget Calculator, a tool where you can input your household’s size to see an itemized list of costs and income needed just to make ends meet.

A large portion of the households experiencing financial hardship in San Antonio belong to a group of workers that United Way calls ALICE, which stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.

People experiencing ALICE have two or three jobs yet still do not earn wages that satisfy all basic needs in San Antonio, including housing, child care, food, transportation, health care and more.

Compounding this issue is the fact that many ALICE households do not qualify for most public benefits programs while still being unable to afford basic necessities. 31% of all households in Bexar County fall into the category of ALICE, meaning they earn less than the cost of living necessary to survive but above the Federal Poverty Level. 15% of all households earn less than the Federal Poverty Level, for a total of 46% of all Bexar County households earning less than what they need to survive.

The data shows that financial hardship is not evenly distributed. Households earning less than what is required to survive include in Bexar County:

  • 80% of single female-headed households with children
  • 50% of households of seniors 65+
  • 56% of Black households
  • 51% of Hispanic households
  • 34% of Caucasian (Non-Latino) households

Please visit this link for a full report on ALICE data in Texas and San Antonio. At the link, you can read the full report and break down the data based on county.

Anyone experiencing financial hardship in Bexar County is encouraged to call United Way’s 2-1-1 Helpline to discover resources that can provide relief or support, like services that can help people increase their earning potential or continue their education. 2-1-1 is free, open 24/7/365, anonymous and available in Spanish.

Categories: ALICE
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