The Economic Stability dimension covers a broad selection of indicators, including job security, access to employment resources and public services, availability and affordability of childcare, and financial ability to weather an economic shock. The association between economic resources and health outcomes is a well-documented relationship. Levels of income, financial inequality, wealth, and poverty each have a significant impact on individual and community health.
What We’ve Learned
In 2019, 60% of Morgan County survey respondents reported being employed full-time, and approximately 66% were able to cover an unexpected $400 bill (compared with a national average of 60%). However, we can assume these numbers don’t tell the full story of a county with many residents who were unable to participate in the survey, and countless families now suffering career and financial losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The top three financial challenges faced by Morgan County residents in 2019 included affording payments towards debt, health insurance, and automobile expenses. Lack of available jobs and affordable childcare were reported to be the most common barriers to entering the workforce.
As the financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to unfold, CFMC has been collaborating with community leaders and service providers to better understand where support is needed. CFMC has contributed to the rapid response of many communities by increasing support to food banks, and is sharing findings from the community survey and focus groups with town and county leaders, to better inform prioritization of funding and initiatives.
CFMC’s Economic Stability initiatives will continue to be informed by these survey findings, as well as needs-based community responses to the ongoing financial and public health crises.