LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation released a study today saying that many in Arkansas are not paid a livable wage.
There are many in Arkansas who earn more than the federal poverty line but still struggle to make ends meet. This study refers to that population as ALICE: Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.
Kody Anderson with Arkansas Forward said, “Almost half of Arkansas families walk an economic tight rope. One setback, one illness, one car repair can take away any and all security that they’ve been able to sustain.”
Entergy Arkansas CEO Lauren Landreaux said that many of the people that Entergy hears from for service calls fall into this category and she is encouraging the business community in Arkansas to step up where they can. She said, “ALICE matters deeply to our business, as she should for all businesses. To attack poverty and equip families and individuals with the tools to increase their earnings, get out of debt, improve their credit, and create wealth.”
Karlye Cothren who works two jobs but is new to the workforce isn’t surprised by those findings. “It’s not just you’re paying your rent, you’re paying for groceries, toilet paper, paper towels all of the things that go with it and just that adds up real quick,” she said.
She works at Fringe in downtown Little Rock but is also a hairdresser, “Really I’m just out here hustling, I’m a hair dresser in the Heights and I took this job, it’s a part-time job, to meet new people and build my clientele at my other job and to make some extra money.”