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Financially insecure households increase after the pandemic

BYU-Idaho Radio · Financially insecure households increase after the pandemic

According to a new report, 43,000 more Idaho households are financially insecure after the pandemic.  

United Ways of the Pacific Northwest released a report detailing the numbers of ALICE households in Idaho. ALICE stands for asset limited, income constrained and employed. These households earn above the poverty level, but less than needed to survive in today’s economy. In Idaho, 218,395 families fall into this category.  

“ALICE workers, including our child care providers, waiters, retail clerks and others are the engine that keeps our economy running,” said Mark Tucker, the CEO of The United Way of Northern Idaho. 

The number of financially insecure households in Idaho rose by 17% between 2019 and 2021. This is more than triple the 5% increase in the state’s overall population.  

Amid job disruptions and inflation, pandemic support efforts and rising wages have helped lessen the burden. However, some benefits have been pulled back and inflation continues, which could lead to a greater financial crisis in the future.  

“During this time childhood poverty in the United States was almost gone and now we know those families are in a tough spot,” said Jim Cooper, president and CEO of United Ways of the Pacific Northwest. “When we look at the data, many of these families never recovered from the great recession.” 

Cooper challenges everyone to keep the conversation going so those who can’t afford the basics can be recognized.  

“The only way to change the federal poverty measure is to talk about it,” Cooper said.  

To see the full report, visit