Economic Mobility

piggy bank

As many as one-third of working Americans do not earn enough money to meet their basic needs. Wages have not kept pace with the rising cost of housing, healthcare and education. Currently, 40 million Americans are working in low-paying jobs without basic health and retirement benefits.

For families walking a financial tightrope, unable to save for college, a home, or retirement, United Way of Southwest Louisiana is here to help.

OUR GOAL

United Way of Southwest Louisiana's goal is an unemployment rate of 3.5% or less.

OUR FOCUS

Individuals obtain good jobs and effectively manage their finances.

OUR PRIORITY AREAS

  • Financial Education
  • Workforce Development
  • Earnings

OUR INITIATIVES

United Way of Southwest Louisiana has the ability to initiate projects independently in each of our four focus areas. These Initiatives address important community needs not already being met that we have identified as critical needs. They can be used to address emergency needs during times of natural disasters or critical community needs not being met by our partner agencies.

Economic Mobility Initiatives

Liquid Asset Poverty

Liquid Asset Poverty Rates for southwest Louisiana


What is Liquid Asset Poverty?

The amount of liquid asset savings that households have on hand in order to cover three months of basic living expenses.
- includes cash and financial assets that can be sold quickly

Why does it matter?

Having few or no assets to rely on in the event of a financial setback such as a medical crisis or job loss makes weathering difficult times more stressful and uncertain. 
New research shows it can have lifetime impacts on the children in these families as well. Children who grow up in poverty experience increased risks for lifelong hardship.
Experiencing financial insecurity and poverty without the tools to respond when setbacks happen can lead to eviction and a lack of basic necessities.


 

Productivity has grown 3.5 times as much as worker pay

Economic mobility is influenced by a variety of factors including education, neighborhoods, savings and family structure. Louisiana joins Oklahoma and South Carolina in a PEW Research study showing the worse economic mobility for their citizens than the national average on all three measures investigated.
Economic mobility is also fundamental to the American Dream. The ability to move up or down the economic ladder within a lifetime or from one generation to the next has been essential to the growth of the country.

Worker productivity versus worker pay graph