Report says many in N.J. can't afford cost of living

A new report from the New Jersey Poverty Research Institute shows that 1 in 5 families in the state cannot afford such basics as housing, food and child care because of the rising cost of living.

The report says that the ability to afford the cost of living is affected by the number of children in the household, the marital status of parents and proficiency in English. Those who speak English very well earn higher incomes than those who do not, according to the report.

The report suggests that a raise in New Jersey?s minimum wage would help families alleviate the high cost of living. But some residents say that no matter how high the minimum wage is, it will not suffice because the cost of living will be even higher.

The current minimum wage rate is $7.15 an hour. According to the report, the gap could be closed if it is raised to $8.50.

The Poverty Institute study also encourages NJ lawmakers to make more child care subsidies available.

The situation isn?t equally bleak in all parts of New Jersey, however. According to the report, residents of some cities like Edison and Toms River can bear the cost of living.

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