Key Terms

Household Survival Budget: The bare-minimum costs of basic necessities (housing, child care, food, transportation, health care, and a smartphone plan).

ALICE Threshold: The average income needed to afford the Household Survival Budget. Households below the ALICE Threshold include both ALICE and poverty-level households.

ALICE: Households with income above the Federal Poverty Level but below the basic cost of living.

Poverty: Households earning below the Federal Poverty Level

Total Households: The number of households as reported by the American Community Survey.

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Research Center


We all know people who are ALICE: Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed — earning more than the Federal Poverty Level, but not enough to afford the basics where they live.

ALICE households and households in poverty are forced to make tough choices, such as deciding between quality child care or paying the rent — choices that have long-term consequences not only for their families, but for all.

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ALICE State and Planning Region Labor Force 2022

ALICE workers play an essential role in the economy but still struggle to support their households. This page highlights the challenges ALICE workers face, including the prevalence of low-wage jobs, a growing dependence on hourly wages, and a historically high number of adults out of the labor force.

Common Jobs in Connecticut Have a High Percentage of ALICE Workers

A key contributor to the number of ALICE households in Connecticut is the fundamental mismatch between the cost of living and what jobs pay.

Top Occupations, Employment, Wages, and Percentage Below ALICE Threshold, Connecticut, 2022

Median Hourly
Percent Median
Wage Change
From 2019
Percent Workers
View Source
Sources: ALICE Threshold, 2022; Bureau of Labor Statistics—Occupational Employment
Statistics, 2022; U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, PUMS, 2019 and 2021

Fewer Connecticut Workers are Employed Full Time With a Salary

Full-time salaried work brings greater financial stability, yet a large (and growing) number of workers are paid hourly. Workers who are paid by the hour are more likely to have fluctuations in income due to frequent schedule changes and variable hours, and they are less likely to receive benefits, such as health insurance, paid time off, family leave, or retirement benefits.

In addition, a historically high number of workers are out of the labor force. This has helped keep wages low: When more workers are available, employers have less incentive to raise wages to attract employees. Many workers are out of the labor force due to retirement; other reasons include school, health issues/disability, and family caregiving responsibilities.

The figure below shows an overview of the labor status of adults over the age of 16. This figure defaults to state data. Type one or more planning regions into the box below to filter the data by location. Click “X” to remove a planning region from the list.

Note: Groups with fewer than 100 households are suppressed (not shown) to maintain accuracy and confidentiality.


Labor Status, Population 16 and Over, Connecticut, 2022

View Notes
View Source
Data for hourly full- and part-time jobs is only available at the national level; these national rates have been applied to the workforce at the planning region-level to calculate the breakdown shown in this figure. Because the labor status figure sums planning region-level data (some using 1-year estimates and some using 5-year estimates), the state percentages may differ slightly from those shown at the state level. Full-time represents 35 hours per week or more at one or more jobs for 48 weeks per year.
American Community Survey, 2022; Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, 2022