Appleseed report offers solutions to increase stability for families and workforce
Despite high workforce participation, many Nebraska families struggle to meet basic needs
LINCOLN — Strong, productive workers and families are the backbone of Nebraska’s communities and our economy. Unfortunately, many families in our state are struggling according to a new report released today by Nebraska Appleseed.
The report, “Nebraska Snapshots: Indicators of the Health of Workers and Families,” is an analysis of state-level data measures of economic opportunity, a healthy workforce, and economically stable families.
Indicators highlighted in the report include:
- Nearly one out of three working families (almost 70,000 people) are low-income.
- More than 77,000 Nebraskans aged 18 and older have more than one job.
- At least 54,000 working families with low incomes fall into a “coverage gap” where they are unable to get affordable health coverage.
“Working families should not be in poverty,” said Nebraska Appleseed Economic Justice Director James Goddard, the report’s author. “In order to ensure working Nebraskans have a pathway out of poverty, our state policies must allow workers to earn a wage that supports a family, access work supports, and affordable health care coverage. We can and should invest in families and workers, and we can do so through policy decisions that will ultimately strengthen our communities.”
A number of policy recommendations in the report would increase stability for Nebraska’s working families. These include raising the state’s minimum wage, transforming our health care system to allow all families to afford health coverage, and taking steps to address the “cliff effect,” that threatens economic stability for families with low incomes.
“We can make investments in Nebraska’s hard-working families, which are one of our state’s biggest assets,” Goddard said. “Placing a greater focus on making hard work pay, building a healthy workforce, and fixing work supports for families struggling to make ends meet can all contribute to our state’s ability to succeed in a global economy.”
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