SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The latest ‘ALICE’ report takes a look at the financial hardship facing Louisiana residents after the pandemic.

United for Alice and Louisiana Association of United Way, both nonprofit organizations, found over 50% of Louisiana residents are not making enough for basic necessities. The bare minimum of household costs (housing, childcare, food, transportation, health care, and a basic smartphone plan).

The report shows that one-third of Louisiana households are “ALICE” which stands for Asset Limited Income Constrained Employment a term that describes households earning more than the federally designated poverty level, however, less than the cost of living in the area.

Pie chart showing over half of Louisiana residents are below the threshold
The 2023 ALICE REPORT by the Louisiana Association of United Way shows the number of households in financial hardship.

In Caddo Parish, between 2019 and 2021 the total number of households decreased by four percent, and the total number of households below the threshold increased by seven percent.

ALICE reported a resident living in Louisiana for one full-time worker was $13.38 per hour and for a family with two adults and two children, a combined wage of $33 per hour to maintain household expenses and live comfortably. However, 75 percent of the state’s most common jobs pay less than $20 an hour.

According to the Department of Labor, Louisiana does not have a minimum wage law. However, employers are subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act, as of 2023, the Federal minimum wage is $7.23.

“We know that financial instability has a devastating impact on individuals, families, and entire communities. The ALICE report provides critical insight into the struggles of working families who are often one emergency away from financial ruin. By shedding light on the economic challenges faced by so many households, this report serves as a call to action for policymakers, community leaders, and all of us to work together to have a community where all individuals and families can thrive,” stated LaToria Thomas, President and CEO of United Way of Northwest Louisiana.

ALICE reveals the struggles of working families by providing the data-driven foundation for developing solutions.

In Shreveport, 33% are ALICE, and in Bossier City 36% ALICE.

Janet Durden, President of United Way of Northwest Louisiana stated, “We know that the challenges faced by ALICE are growing, but the newly released ALICE report also indicates particularly alarming warning signs that warrant the attention and strategic involvement of our local communities. In Northeast Louisiana, our United Way is focused on addressing these warning signs through the work of our valued partner programs and our newly expanded Financial Health Services. We know that improved financial stability for ALICE means a stronger, more prosperous community for all,” said Janet S. Durden, President of United Way of Northeast Louisiana.”

The economic challenges facing Louisiana residents are ‘alarming’ and ‘starker’ when broken down by race, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability status.