Key Findings

Across the board, workers in Connecticut are not earning enough to make ends meet.

For four of five household types, less than half of all workers earn a living wage.

Only 62 percent of workers in the state earn enough for a single adult to make ends meet.

Only 23 percent earn enough for a single adult with two children to make ends meet.

Race and Ethnicity Matter in Connecticut

Data was available for white, black, Asian, and all workers of color, as well as for Latino and non-Latino workers. Black workers and workers of color overall were less likely to earn a living wage for all household types than was true for the overall working population. Latinos were less likely to earn a living wage than were non-Latinos.

The widest gap between black workers and all workers is for the household with two working adults and two children. Forty-seven percent of all workers earn a living wage greater than or equal to the living wage for two working adults and two children, but only 29 percent of Black workers were able to provide the income needed for that family type.

The widest gap between all workers of color and all workers is for a single adult. Sixty-two percent of all workers earn a living wage for that household, compared to only 47 percent of all workers of color.

Only 6 percent of Latino workers earn a living wage to support a single adult with two children. Only 9 percent earn enough for adults with two children, with only one adult working.

Gender Matters in Connecticut

Across all household types, women were less likely than men to earn a living wage.

Only 57 percent of female workers earn a living wage for a single adult, compared with 65 percent of male workers.

Only 16 percent of female workers earn enough for a single adult with two children to make ends meet, and only 23 percent earn enough for two adults and two children, with only one adult working.

Citizenship Matters in Connecticut

Across all household types, non-citizens were less likely than citizens to earn a living wage.

The widest gap between non-citizens and citizens is for the household with a single adult. Only 39 percent of non-citizens earn enough for a single adult to make ends meet, compared to 64 percent of citizens.

Only 13 percent of non-citizen workers earn enough for a single adult with two children to make ends meet, and only 17 percent earn enough for two adults with two children, with only one adult working.

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CT-Gaisha

Gaisha Veazquez – New Haven, Connecticut

“I can’t plan for the long-term, and I just can’t think about what would happen to my daughter if something happened to me. Right now, I just have to get through each day.”

Personal Testimony: Gaisha Veazquez

My wage controls my life. I wish it didn’t, but when my partner and I make only a little more than $600 per week between the two of us, it feels like every decision is based on money. It’s hard to support ourselves, my daughter, and my sister on less than $3,000 per month.

I have a certificate as an electrical apprentice, and I work as an ICT operator testing motherboards to make sure they function properly. I’m thankful for the work, and that I’m doing something that I’m trained for, but it’s only a temp-to-hire position so I don’t know how stable this will be. Plus, my training left me with student loans, so once I make more money I will need to start paying those back, too.

As it is, I have to give up everything that is not essential to make ends meet. Our rent takes up almost half of our income, and we live in a pretty violent neighborhood with lower rent than some other areas. But, it’s the best we can do right now. I drive a beat-up car that feels like it’s always close to breaking down, and I don’t have any savings for retirement or emergencies. I don’t even have enough money to let my daughter enroll in recreational activities.

I wish we could move to a better neighborhood, or even have enough money to take my daughter to the movies sometimes. I can’t plan for the long-term, and I just can’t think about what would happen to my daughter if something happened to me. Right now, I just have to get through each day.

Growing up, I had dreams of success, and of making a better life for myself, but I can never reach those dreams earning so little. For now, I’m just doing everything humanly possible to raise my daughter to excel and succeed. If I can’t give her everything she wants right now, at least I can be a good example so that maybe one day she can achieve her dreams.

 

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Connecticut Equity Report

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