How much income needed to make ends meet in SD?
SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A single adult needs to earn nearly $28,000 annually
to make ends meet on a no-frills budget without government assistance in San
Diego County, according to a report released Thursday by the advocacy group Center
on Policy Initiatives.
The “Making Ends Meet 2014” report says a family of four needs to earn
more than $84,700.
Nearly 38 percent of households in San Diego County live below what the
CPI calls the self-sufficiency standard. The organization dispensed with the
federal poverty level, calling it a one-size-fits-all standard that doesn't
apply in high-cost San Diego.
“More than 300,000 households in our county are living with incomes too
low to meet the most basic expenses,” said Peter Brownell, CPI's research
director. “These are mostly working people, who are forced to rely on public
or private assistance to get by.”
Brownell said many San Diegans, particularly those in the high-tech and
biotech industries, are highly paid. But since it's a tourist town, many more
work in low-wage restaurant and hotel jobs.
According to the report, 52 percent of tourism industry employees live
below the self-sufficiency standard, as do 65.2 percent of agricultural
workers, 40.9 percent of construction workers and 37.7 percent of those in
The organization said the lack of sufficient income for so many families
impairs the economy because they share residences and forego services like
childcare or vehicle repairs.
Expenses included in the self-sufficiency standard are housing, child
care, food, transportation, health care and miscellaneous items like clothing,
shoes, diapers and personal hygiene products. Child tax credits are figured in.
The federal poverty level for single adults in 2012 was $11,720,
according to the CPI. For a family of four, it was $23,283.
The United Way of San Diego County and Leichtag Foundation helped fund
the report, which is generated biennially.