Approximately 14.4% of people in CMCA's service area are living in poverty. That's over 51,400 people! Of those living in poverty, 23.9% are children, 7.1% are seniors, and 69% are adults aged 18-64. Most working-age adults are working, as the 2019 employment rate for CMCA's service area is 97.4%. The amount of money an individual or family needs to earn in order to make ends meet is called a living wage. The living wage varies by family size and county. Imagine a family with two working adults and one child. Across the CMCA service area, the living wage, or the amount that each adult would need to earn, ranges from $14.33 to $16.75. The minimum hourly wage in Missouri is $10.30. Many families with two adults working full time are not able to afford rent, groceries, transportation, and other necessities without assistance.
Programs like SkillUP and the Financial Opportunity Center help CMCA members get the training, education, and soft skills they need to get and keep higher paying jobs through employment coaching. Members are also connected to work supports, such as transportation and child care, depending on individual circumstances. Through financial coaching, CMCA members learn financial management skills such as budgeting, reducing expenses, improving credit scores, and starting savings plans. By helping people find and keep living wage jobs and improve their financial management skills, CMCA supports families in becoming more resilient and in breaking the cycle of poverty.
Interested in supporting CMCA in this endeavor? Click here to find out how you can help.
1. U.S. Census Bureau. (2021). 2019: ACS 5-Year Estimates Subject Tables, Table S1701.
2. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021). Local Area Unemployment Statistics, Annual Average County Data, Labor force data by county, 2019 annual averages.
3. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021). Employment status of the civilian noninstitutionalized population, annual averages, by state, 2019.
4. Glasmeier, Amy K. Living Wage Calculator. 2020. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.