Over one hundred forty thousand (141,035) Rhode Islanders lived in poverty in 2015, according to new data released today from the Census Bureau. The drop in the rate to 13.9% in 2015 from 14.1% in 2014 is not statistically significant. The poverty level for a family of four is approximately $24,000.
New Census data show that the percentage of uninsured Rhode Islanders was 5.7 percent in 2015, half the rate it was in 2013, the year before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) went into effect. In 2014, 7.4% were uninsured.
Lawmakers have made real progress in both the EITC and minimum wage over the past several years and future process to raise the labor and living standards of our workers going forward is well warranted.
Rhode Island’s minimum wage increase from $9.00 to $9.60, beginning Jan 1, 2016 resulted in 64,000 Rhode Island workers receiving wage increases totaling $32 million. The $9.60 minimum wage is the same as Connecticut’s currently, and below Massachusetts’s current $10.00 minimum wage. In 2017, MA will increase their minimum wage to$11.00/hour, and CT will increase their minimum wage to $10.10/hour.
New data released by CFED (the Corporation for Enterprise Development), a national partner of Economic Progress Institute, shows that too many Rhode Island families remain economically vulnerable. The 2016 Assets and Opportunity Scorecard ranks Rhode Island 35th nationally in the ability of residents to achieve financial security.