March 8, 2021

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Wage

How Much Is Really a ‘Living Wage’ in Every State?

How Much Is Really a ‘Living Wage’ in Every State?

Alex Valdes  6/11/2020


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  • Slide 1 of 52: Can you afford to live where you are? The answer depends on two factors — your earnings and the cost of living in your area. The federal minimum wage in the United States is $7.25 per hour. Some states and a few cities set their minimum wages higher. The cost of living varies a great deal across the country. Even in lower-cost areas, a minimum wage job may not be enough to support a family. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning calculates a living wage for each state and the District of Columbia that takes into account the costs in each. We used MIT’s updated Living Wage Calculator for a state-by-state look at what it takes in 2020 to earn enough to enjoy a basic standard of living. This slideshow starts where the living wage is highest. See if you make a living wage for your state. It's not the usual blah, blah, blah. Click here to sign up for our free newsletter.
  • Slide 2 of 52: Living wage for a one-person household: $16.92 per hour Living wage for a household with two working adults and two children: $18.11 per hour (per adult) The District of Columbia’s minimum wage was $14 an hour for the first half of 2020. It increases to $15 per hour as of July 1, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures’ list of minimum wages. In D.C., however, two working adults each need to earn $18.11 per hour in order to together have a living wage to support their household with two children, according to MIT’s Living Wage Calculator.
  • Slide 3 of 52: Living wage for a one-person household: $15.82 per hour Living wage for a household with two working adults and two children: $17.14 per hour (per adult) In the state of Hawaii, two working adults who are supporting a household with two children must each earn at least $17.14 per hour to enjoy a living wage, according to the Living Wage Calculator. The National Council of State Legislatures, though, reports that Hawaii’s minimum wage is considerably lower than that — $10.10 per hour. The cost of living in Hawaii doesn’t help with this problem. It is by far the highest in the nation, reports the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center.
  • Slide 4 of 52: Living wage for a one-person household: $15.56 per hour Living wage for a household with two working adults and two children: $21.88 per hour (per adult) New York state’s minimum wage rose to $11.80 as the calendar rolled over on Jan. 1, 2020. That can be small consolation, though, when your state’s cost of living is the third-highest in the nation, behind only Hawaii and the District of Columbia. In New York City, where the cost of housing is particularly steep, the minimum wage is $15 per hour for businesses of every size in 2020, says the state’s Department of Labor. That’s closer to the state’s living wage of $15.56 per hour for a single adult living alone.
  • Can you afford to live where you are? The answer depends on two factors — your earnings and the cost of living in your area. The federal minimum wage in the United States is $7.25 per hour. Some states and a few cities set their minimum wages higher. The cost of living varies a great deal across the country. Even in lower-cost areas, a minimum wage job may not be enough to support a family. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning calculates a living wage for each state and the District of Columbia that takes into account the costs in each. We used MIT’s updated Living Wage Calculator for a state-by-state look at what it takes in 2020 to earn enough to enjoy a basic standard of living. This slideshow starts where the living wage is highest. See if you make a living wage for your state. It’s not the usual blah, blah, blah. Click here to sign up for our free newsletter.Next SlideFull screen1/52 SLIDES © Anna Tryhub / Shutterstock.com

How Much Is Really a ‘Living Wage’ in Every State?

Can you afford to live where you are? The answer depends on two factors — your earnings and the cost of living in your area.

The federal minimum wage in the United States is $7.25 per hour. Some states and a few cities set their minimum wages higher.

The cost of living varies a great deal across the country. Even in lower-cost areas, a minimum wage job may not be enough to support a family.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning calculates a living wage for each state and the District of Columbia that takes into account the costs in each. We used MIT’s updated Living Wage Calculator for a state-by-state look at what it takes in 2020 to earn enough to enjoy a basic standard of living.

Click through the slideshow above, which starts where the living wage is highest. See if you make a living wage for your state.

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