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Despite Labor Market Gains in 2018, There Were Only Modest Improvements in Families’ Ability to Meet Basic Needs

05.2019 / By Urban Institute

This report uses data from the Well-Being and Basic Needs Survey to examine changes in material hardship between 2017 and 2018. It finds that, despite a strong labor market during this period, there was only modest progress in families’ ability to meet basic needs. These findings underscore that, although employment is a critical determinant of families’ ability to meet basic needs, it is not the only factor, and further progress will likely depend on policies to raise and stabilize incomes, offset the cost of essential expenses, and provide a buffer against adverse financial shocks.



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