‘Not keeping pace:’ Northeast Florida residents struggle to make ends meet despite rising wages

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Despite rising wages in Florida, more than a third of Northeast Florida households struggle to make ends meet despite growth in wages.


The latest ALICE report from United Way of Northeast Florida and its research partner United For ALICE found 38.7% of households are living paycheck to paycheck or even in poverty.

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This is based on data from Duval, Baker, Clay, Nassau, and St. Johns counties, according to the United Way of Northeast Florida.

“Even now on the other side of an economically devastating pandemic, we’re seeing families continue to struggle, with rent assistance, utility assistance and food often being the top needs,” Melanie Patz, president and CEO of United Way of Northeast Florida said in a news release Wednesday.

READ: Jacksonville rises to the 2nd hottest job market in the U.S. according to new analysis

The latest ALICE report found 1.1 million Florida households living below the ALICE threshold, a combination of those living in poverty and those who earn above the Federal Poverty Level but can’t afford the basic cost of living in their county.

In Northeast Florida, the study revealed deep racial disparities and age factorization in the rates of financial hardship.

“While we saw some improvement in financial hardship numbers compared to last year, we know the increase in wages is not keeping pace with higher costs of living, especially in our region of Florida, which is seeing tremendous population growth,” Patz said.

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Chase Berger

Chase Berger, Action News Jax

Chase Berger is an Associate Producer for Action News Jax.

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