Employed and struggling: Why many working Frederick County families cannot afford basic needs

A statewide report released this past week presented a dire picture for residents across the state: A growing number of income-earning households cannot pay for their basic needs.

Frederick County is no exception.

More than 35,000 households in Frederick County cannot afford the most basic costs of housing, food, transportation, child care and health care. United Way’s Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE) report compares a survival budget for each county with household incomes to determine the percentage of people below the ALICE line. In 2018, 39 percent of the 89,800 households in the county fit the ALICE description, a five percentage-point increase from 2014.

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