ALICE Workers

ALICE Workers

Workers We Rely On Every Day

Much more than an acronym, ALICE is the essential workforce we rely on every day— from the child care educator to the grocery store clerk to the delivery person to the home health aide. These workers are critical to keep our businesses, our economy, and our households running, yet they do not earn enough to afford their family’s basic needs.

Imagine for a moment what your day would be like if the ALICEs you rely on were not able to show up for work because they lack child care or transportation. As business leaders we can – and must – do better to show these workers that their contributions are valued. The success of our businesses and communities depends on it.

Wages Not Keeping Up With Cost of Basics

While expenses vary by location and household composition, across the nation, wages are not keeping up with the rising cost of household essentials. For example, in West Virginia in 2019, two parents working full time needed to earn $26.36 per hour each to afford the Household Survival Budget for a family of two adults and two children. In Delaware, the wage needed for the same family type was $34.76. Meanwhile, more than half of all jobs in the U.S. pay $20 or less, as shown in the chart below. To see how wages compare to cost of living in your community, visit the ALICE Wage Tool.

$20 or less
Above $80
3.9 Million Cashiers
$11.37 / hour
2.1 Million Janitors & Cleaners
$13.19 / hour
1.5 Million Teacher’s Assistants
$14.15 / hour
4.7 Million Nursing Assistants
$12.68 / hour

Top Occupations in the U.S.

ALICE jobs are represented within some of the largest industries in the U.S. In the chart below are the top 20 jobs by estimated employment in 2019. The majority pay less than $20 per hour or $40,000 annually, if full-time, which doesn't allow for affording the basics for survival.

Laborers and Movers6,168,600
Retail Salespersons4,317,950
Fast Food Workers3,996,820
Secretaries & Administrative Assistants3,353,950
Drivers/Sales Workers & Truck Drivers3,223,840
Home Health & Personal Care Aides3,161,500
Building Cleaning Workers3,090,570
Registered Nurses2,982,280
Office Clerks2,956,060
Customer Service Representatives2,919,230
Waiters and Waitresses2,579,020
General & Operations Managers2,400,280
Elementary & Middle School Teachers2,064,680
Software & Web Developers1,754,750
Sales Reps, Wholesale & Manufacturing1,651,500
Healthcare Support Occupations1,532,460
Nursing Assistants1,521,930
Bookkeeping, Accounting, & Auditing Clerks1,512,660
Financial Wellness
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