Easing the Struggle of America’s Workers
More than 44 million working households—representing more than 90 million people across the United States—struggle to pay their bills each month. Nearly four in 10 households can’t withstand an unexpected monthly expense greater than $400. The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare and compounded this fragility in the financial well-being of so many American families. Even before the mass layoffs in early 2020, more than 28 million Americans lacked health insurance.
Unforeseen expenses—a home or auto repair, an emergency hospital visit—can so easily become insurmountable obstacles and have cascading effects on a family’s ability to secure or maintain housing, childcare, food, transportation, and healthcare. This is the picture of economic insecurity in the United States.
working households struggle to meet their families’ basic needs
Americans—families where at least one person works fulltime—have trouble paying the bills each month
of Americans lack $400 in savings to address emergencies
When it’s tough to get by, it’s even tougher to get ahead.
Tens of millions of Americans—by some counts, more than 40% of all households—cannot afford the basic expenses of food, housing, transportation, childcare and communications. The households—known by the acronym ALICE, for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed—are working Americans who earn more than the official federal poverty measurement, yet still can’t keep up with the rising cost of living.
At The Rockefeller Foundation, our strategy is grounded in two pathways: identifying and scaling public and private sector economic policies and mobilizing private capital in people and places through place-based grantmaking and investing.
Our Work and Impact
The Rockefeller Foundation has over 100 years of history expanding opportunity for America’s working families. With all of these investments, the Foundation has been strategic in addressing the structural barriers to equal access and equal opportunity.
In February 2020, the Foundation announced a comprehensive, Foundation-wide $65 million investment to help 10 million low-wage workers and their families meet their basic needs and have a path to a better future. The core of this investment is our U.S. Equity and Economic Opportunity Initiative.
A Conversation on BU’s Campus: Illuminating the Racial Pandemic Within the Viral One
The Rockefeller Foundation’s Otis Rolley, Senior Vice President, U.S. Equity and Economic Opportunity Initiative, met with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, Founder of the Center for Antiracist Research. The two discussed the goals and urgency of the Foundation’s $1.5 million grant to Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research Center.More