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United Way of Northern New Jersey, LIVE UNITED
United Way of Northern New Jersey-ALICE

Our Work » ALICE


Consider this: One in four households in New Jersey is walking a financial tightrope, unable to afford this state’s high cost of living, one emergency from falling into poverty.

And yet, typically the headline reads: "N.J. household median income ties for highest in country".

United Way of Northern New Jersey is proud to unveil its first statewide ALICE study, upending the conventional view of New Jersey. The reality is that 1.1 million New Jersey households are unable to afford life’s basic necessities. That number includes those living in poverty and a population often overlooked – ALICE, a United Way acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.

Who is ALICE?

ALICE represents the men and women of all ages and races who get up each day to go to work like you and me, but who aren’t sure if they’ll be able to put dinner on the table each night. They are our child care workers, our mechanics, our home health aides, store clerks and office assistants – all workers we cannot live without.

We’ve all heard anecdotally how our social service systems have come under increased strain in recent years. The United Way ALICE Report provides the detailed analysis and data that explains why so many are struggling. For example, here’s some of what we’ve uncovered:

  • Half of New Jersey’s 566 towns have 30 percent or more households earning less than what is needed to afford the basics
  • One-third of ALICE households are headed by those in their prime wage-earning years, 45- to 64-years-old
  • More than half of all jobs in New Jersey pay less than $20 an hour; $40,000 annually

Alice Report 2012ALICE is a real and significant population that we ignore at the peril of the future well-being of all our communities. We hope you share United Way’s concerns about this growing disconnect and its impact on our communities.

Please join us in raising awareness about ALICE and stimulating a fresh dialogue among community leaders about how, together, we can provide ALICE an opportunity to succeed.

PDF Icon PDF   Download the new United Way ALICE Report to learn more about this population and their daily struggles to keep their heads above water.

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