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Loyola Study Finds Families Struggling To Meet Basic Needs

A Loyola University report finds nearly a quarter-million families in Louisiana are struggling to meet basic needs.

The school’s Jesuit Social Research Institute finds low wages, high housing and health-care costs and scarce child care are to blame.

Researcher Ali Bustamante says a Louisiana single parent with one child needs $45,840 a year  to meet a family's basic needs. That bracket needs a $22 hourly wage.

The three metro areas with the highest costs of living in Louisiana are — in order — New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lafayette.

The report says U.S. Census figures show just under half of single mothers in Louisiana live in poverty. And families working full-time minimum wage jobs, with one or two earners, do not earn enough to ensure economic security.

It recommends raising the minimum wage and increasing the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit of 3.5 percent to the national average, which is just over 15 percent.

Eileen is a news reporter and producer for WWNO. She researches, reports and produces the local daily news items. Eileen relocated to New Orleans in 2008 after working as a writer and producer with the Associated Press in Washington, D.C. for seven years.

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