COVID-19 AND ALICE
UNDERSTANDING THE IMPACT ON AMERICA’S ALICE FAMILIES
The rapid spread of the COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, is exposing critical shortcomings in our economy and in our systems of health care and education. No one is immune to its direct or indirect effects, but ALICE families are particularly vulnerable to hardship from both illness and economic
disruption. Current economic measures do not capture the experience of this population. In this unprecedented time, it is
imperative that we use the ALICE measures to fully understand the impact of COVID-19 on U.S. workers and their families.
CRISIS WITH IMPACT REACHING FAR AND WIDE
The current crisis is demonstrating how exposed ALICE households — and therefore our communities and businesses — are to an emergency. Here are some of the intersecting ways ALICE workers, families, and seniors will be impacted by this crisis:
ALICE workers play essential roles in state and national economies, building and repairing our infrastructure and educating and caring for our past, current, and future workforce. Some are in the trenches caring for COVID-19 patients. Yet many ALICE workers do not have basic employee protections — such as annual salary, adequate health care coverage, and access to other benefits — that would help them withstand the COVID-19 crisis.
Children and Families
One-third of families with children (38% across the U.S.) have income below the ALICE Threshold. These families are especially vulnerable to the disruptions that accompany child care, school, and university closures.
The age group most susceptible to serious illness from COVID-19 is people over 60 years old. Seniors who rely only on Social Security and Medicare are also financially exposed to hardship related to this crisis.