Testimony by David Dyssegaard Kallick: The relationship between immigration and economic growth

June 30, 2010. Senior fellow David Dyssegaard Kallick testified at a public hearing held by the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform to hear ideas from members of the public. He testified about the relationship between immigration and economic growth and about the importance of federal support for state and local governments. Read the testimony.

The Self Sufficiency Standard for New York

June 29, 2010. As New York recovers from the current recession, long-term economic prosperity will require responsible planning that puts all New Yorkers on the path to self-sufficiency.

  • What does it take to make ends meet in New York without public or private assistance?
  • How can we measure income adequacy?

The Self-Sufficiency Standard published here answers these questions, using the best tools available to set out practical levels of economic security for New York families and individuals. The Self-Sufficiency Standard defines the income needed to realistically support a family, without public or private assistance, based on the costs of six basic needs for working families: housing, child care, food, health care, transportation, and miscellaneous items as well as the cost of taxes and the impact of tax credits.

The conclusion? The Self-Sufficiency Standard for 2010 shows that for most workers – across the state and in New York City – earnings well above the official Federal Poverty Level (FPL) are nevertheless far below what is needed to meet families’ basic needs.

FPI’s Carolyn Boldiston and Michele Mattingly contributed to the 2010 editions of the Self-Sufficiency Standard report for New York State and New York City.



June 29, 2010




Key findings 2010

Not surprisingly, within New York State and New York City, the amount needed to be economically self-sufficient varies considerably by geographic location.

  • For example, self sufficiency would require a family with one adult, one preschooler, and one school-age child living in Allegany County to earn $3,472 per month, while in Suffolk County the same family type must earn $6,576 per month.
  • A family with one adult, one preschooler, and one school-age child living in the Bronx needs to earn $5,078 per month, while in the southern part of Manhattan it takes $7,629 per month to be self-sufficient.

The Self Sufficiency Standard also varies depending on how many adults and children are in a family and the age of each child.

  • One adult living in Albany County needs a monthly income of $1,806 to meet basic needs. If the adult has a preschooler and a school-age child, the amount necessary to be economically secure increases to $4,301 per month.
  • One adult with no children in Brooklyn needs to earn a monthly income of $2,364 to meet basic needs. If the adult has a preschooler and a school-age child, the amount necessary to be economically secure increases to $5,264 per month.

The cost of meeting basic needs has increased considerably over the past decade throughout New York, while median earnings among New York workers has increased at a much lower rate. Only one of New York’s ten most common occupations – registered nurses – pays median earnings that are above the Standard for one adult, one preschooler, and one school-age child, whether in Albany County or in Brooklyn.

The Self-Sufficiency Standard for Select New York Counties, 2010

Albany County Allegany County The Bronx Brooklyn (Kings) Manhattan (southern) Monroe County Suffolk County
Hourly $24.44 $19.72 $28.85 $29.91 $43.35 $22.44 $37.37
Monthly $4,301 $3,472 $5,078 $5,264 $7,629 $3,949 $6,576
Annual $51,617 $41,658 $60,934 $63,166 $91,552 $47,391 $78,916

Earlier Editions


September 13, 2000

News coverage

[already item] July 8, 2010.  Measuring New York City’s Wage Adequacy. By Michele Mattingly, Huffington Post.

The findings of the report imply a stark future for the city if most of its largest occupations do not pay median wages that allow an adult employed full-time to meet basic needs, let alone to support a family. Public policy in recent years has stressed the primacy of employment over public support to address poverty, yet too many of New York’s jobs simply do not pay enough for workers to raise themselves and their families to a modest standard of living.

July 5, 2010.  Study: LI costliest region in state for families. By Michael Amon, Newsday.

July 1, 2010.  Poverty levels out of sync with real cost of living, study says. By Driadonna Roland, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

June 30, 2010.  Report on Self Sufficiency in NY Released. WXXI (Rochester).

June 30, 2010.  Financial realities for working poor. Reported by Ashley Hassett, WBFO (Buffalo).

June 30, 2010.  Evaluating self sufficiency standards. By Katie Nowak, Troy Record.

June 29, 2010.  New report finds more families in need. Reported by Sabina Kuriakose for YNN.

June 29, 2010.  Self Sufficiency Study Breaks Down How Much Income You Need To Make Ends Meet. Reported by Samantha Martinez, WETM-TV (Elmira).

June 29, 2010.  New report details cost for family to meet basic needs. AP.

June 28, 2010.  Living Expenses Rising Far Faster than Wages, Study Finds. By Emily B. Hager, New York Times City Room Blog.

September 13, 2000.  Family Needs Far Exceed the Official Poverty Line. By Nina Bernstein, New York Times.

Strike a Fairer Balance In Balancing City Budget: Trim Hedge Funds, Not Services

June 18, 2010. An op ed by James A. Parrott, The Chief.

Groups Call Upon Schumer and Gillibrand to Restore Medicaid and COBRA Health Insurance Funding

June 8, 2010. This press release from coalition partners highlights FPI’s analysis of the impact on New York State and New York City of a 6-month extension of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s increased share of state Medicaid costs. The groups also call for extension of ARRA’s assistance with COBRA premiums.

The Mayor’s Executive Budget Proposal

June 7, 2010. Testimony presented by James Parrott before the New York City Council Committee on Finance.