Study shows some Nebraskans not making ends meet - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Study shows some Nebraskans not making ends meet

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By: Ashley Harding

The nonprofit group is called Community Action of Nebraska and they aim to fight poverty. Last June, they conducted a survey about employment and job satisfaction. They found that many of those who are working still have trouble getting by.

Kim Robbins knows what it's like to be down and out. Nearly three years ago, she fled to Nebraska from a domestic violence situation in her home state of Louisiana. She says despite working two jobs, she was barely able to make ends meet.

According to survey released by Community Action of Nebraska, many working people in the state can relate to Kim.

"I had never been in a position where I needed help. So that was something that was very difficult for me," said Robbins.

Officials with the organization say the purpose of the survey was to better understand employment and underemployment in the state. The survey finds that of all employed respondents, 48% work at least 40 hours a week, and 24% work 50 hours a week. Also, about 1 in 5 respondents say they don't make enough to meet their basic needs. Jose Zapata with the organization says there are a lot of myths out there when it comes to those making low income.

"What we're seeing is their jobs are probably more minimum wage with less insurance, so they have to work more hours. So, that belief that folks are not working is wrong," said Zapata.

The survey also reports that lack of education and limited job opportunities are the main reasons for why many Nebraskans aren't able to get better paying jobs. Kim Robbins considers herself one of the lucky ones. She now works for one of the organization's many branches and her hope is to make a difference.

"I'm just proud of my family and excited about my job. It makes me feel good to be able to tell this story because there are so many people that live in Nebraska and have a very similar story that I do," said Robbins.

Those with the organization say they're always looking to improve these numbers. They say the best way to do that is to push for education and lend a hand to those who need help.

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