Monmouth County Residents Working, But Struggling To Afford Basics

A new report from United Way calculates the number of struggling working families across the state

According to a new report, 28 percent of Monmouth County residents struggle to afford basic necessities, despite having working adults in the home.

The United Way reports New Jersey sees one in three households in the same situation, hard-pressed to pay for "housing, child care, food, health care, and transportation."

United Way recently released a report, five years in the making, to document the number, location and experiences of New Jersey families who are working, yet "who live each day one crisis away from falling into poverty." The report is known as the ALICE project, which is an acronym for " Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed."

Between 41 and 75 percent of Long Branch residents are estimated to be living below the ALICE threshold, according to the report. Between 31 and 40 percent of Eatontown residents and between 21 and 30 Tinton Falls and West Long Branch residents are estimated below the ALICE threshold.

The families studied make more than the official poverty level, but "way less than an individual or family needs to sustain a reasonably healthy standard of living." 

The average cost of basic necessities in Monmouth County including housing, child care, food, health care, and transportation, totals $53,400 for a family of two adults, an infant and a toddler. That number is more than double the US poverty rate of $22,113.

Monmouth County has one of the smallest number of households below the "ALICE threshold" in the state, ranking number 8 of the 21 counties in the state. 

"I love living in New Jersey. When one drives around the state it is hard not to notice the beautiful tree-lined streets, lovely homes, nice cars, and great shopping," wrote John B. Franklin, CEO, United Way of Northern New Jersey, in a prepared statement. 

"These are all signs of the affluence that surrounds us, but if you look a little closer, scratch the surface and get a deeper glance, you will find ALICE."


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