UCF sociologists James Wright and Jana Jasinski recently conducted a comprehensive survey and published their results in a report titled “Poverty in Central Florida: Wages and Well-being among the Region’s Low and Moderate Income Families.” Here are some of the startling statistics:

  • More than half of the members of the low-income sector (a person making less than $30,000) are working 35 to 40 hours a week. And 44 percent would prefer to work more hours than their employers give them.
  • One in seven works a second job and more than half would be unable to pay their bills if they missed a month’s income.
  • The working poor are disproportionately female.
  • For both men and women, marriage has a strongly positive effect on economic well-being. And, for women in particular, marital dissolution is often an economic disaster.
  • Only one in five is insured.
  • Estimates show more than $60 million in food stamps went unclaimed in Florida last year.
  • Only one in 10 people surveyed reported awareness of the 2-1-1 system, which helps connect citizens to needed services, including rental assistance and supplemental food programs.

To read the complete report, visit the ISBS web site.