Basic Economic Security Tables

June 2011

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W4W Distributes Kentucky’s Basic Economic Security Tables

The Basic Economic Security Tables™ (BEST) for Kentucky was released today by Women 4 Women and Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW). The report includes the comprehensive BEST Index, which calculates the monthly income necessary for families to cover their basic expenses, including childcare, housing, health care, transportation, savings and retirement.

According to the report, single workers in Kentucky need to earn $23,988 a year, or more than $11 an hour – almost 60% higher than the annual minimum wage of $15,312 – just to cover basic expenses. Single parents require twice that income ($47,316 a year, or more than $22 an hour) to support themselves and two children, while dual-income households with two children require $57,048 a year.

“Too few Kentucky families are living in economically secure households, with most workers unable to stretch their incomes over basic expenses and build savings,” said Joan Kuriansky, WOW’s Executive Director. “The American dream of working hard to support your family is being re-written by the growth of low-paying industries and rising expenses.”

Kentucky’s projected job growth does not promise many hard-working Kentucky families the incomes they need to live in security. According to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, only 30% of jobs expected to be created in the state by 2018 will provide economic security to a single mother with two kids. And fewer than half of all jobs projected to be created in Kentucky before 2018 that do not require a four-year degree will allow a family with two working parents and two kids to live in economic security.

“Many Kentucky workers are stuck in jobs that will not adequately support their families,” said Lopa Mehrotra, Interim President & CEO of Women 4 Women which released the report in a joint news conference today with the Kentucky Commission on Women. “It’s important that policymakers and families realize the obstacles that workers face in achieving economic security. It’s especially important for women to have access to and seek out high-paying careers, as they tend to be paid less and bear a greater responsibility of raising children on their own. And it’s important for Kentucky policymakers to help bring these good, high-paying jobs to the state.”

Listen to the Mandy Connell show tomorrow when Lopa Mehrotra of Women 4 Women and Matt Unrath of Wider Opportunities for Women will be interviewed and explain the importance of this report.

Tune In - 84 WHAS radio, Wednesday, June 15, 2011 at 10:00 a.m.


Special Appreciation

Women 4 Women would like to thank Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis – Louisville Branch for sponsoring the KY BEST announcement event and Spalding University for providing the location. We would also like to thank Wider Opportunities for Women for developing The Basic Economic Security Tables™ (BEST) and working to create economic independence for women and families in Kentucky and across the nation. Thank you also to the Kentucky Commission on Women for partnering with Women 4 Women to distribute and advocate this report for the state.

You’re Invited

Join us at the KY BEST Community Forum to learn more about the BEST index report, receive your FREE copy and provide input on how the community can use this data to prepare women and families. This report is vital to education providers, the business community, policymakers, lawmakers and women and families as they prepare for the future in this changing economy.

Join us on Thursday, June 23 or Monday, June 27 from 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. at Metro United Way, 334 E. Broadway, Louisville, KY 40202. RSVP to Danah Zimmerlee at 502.561.8060 ext. 219 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Click here for more details.

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