What Does it Cost to Live in New Jersey? [POLL/AUDIO]
More than one million full-time workers in New Jersey earn less that what it costs to cover the basics of daily life, according to the newest report from Legal Services of New Jersey. The numbers become even more grim when taking into account part-time workers and those without jobs.
The study has found that an average family of four in New Jersey, in order to afford adequate food and other necessities, needs to bring in anywhere from $64,000 to $73,371 a year. For a single adult, the goal is $28,593.
"It's very troubling," said LSNJ President Melville Miller. "The picture has gotten steadily worse over the now 14 years that we've been doing these studies."
The report points out an ominous trend over the last decade or so - escalating living costs and plummeting wages.
Miller said roughly a quarter of full-time workers are struggling to squeeze by, just to provide the basics of a home, food, child care and transportation.
"So they're working, but in actual poverty," he explained.
The numbers don't include extras, such as saving for college, ordering takeout and emergency costs.
Six southern counties are among the 10 with the lowest living costs in New Jersey. Seven northern counties are among the 10 most costly. Miller attributes the geographic difference to housing costs, which, along with child care, are the leading cost factors in the report.