Over the past twenty years, the cost of living in the United States has increased by almost 90 percent, while average incomes have only increased by 25 percent. In addition, more than 40 million Americans work in jobs that pay low wages and do not provide basic health and retirement benefits.
Research has uncovered three underlying elements that must be present for individuals and families to achieve financial stability: stable, adequate income; housing; and adequate financial resources like savings to cover unexpected expenses.
Individuals who have fewer financial stresses are healthier, perform better at work, and have better educational outcomes. Increasing the financial stability of families ultimately creates a stronger, more productive workforce, and communities are more prosperous because of increased employment and homeownership.
United Way helps families become more self-sufficient by supporting basic needs while increasing financial education and helping hardworking people obtain job training and family-sustaining wages.