Source: MIT Wage Calculator, Census. Date of last available data: 2016 (minimum wage 2018).
In 2016, the living wage for a single adult household was estimated to be $10.25 an hour, while the poverty wage was $5.00 an hour. Given the fact that the minimum wage of $8.30 is greater than the poverty wage, but lower than a comfortable living wage, the indicator is yellow. (The measurement of two adults, one child with only one adult working part time was added in 2016 and the poverty rate was not available at that time.)
The living wage defines the wages required for a family to cover basic expenses in addition to taxes, such as food, child care, healthcare and insurance, transportation, basic goods, and housing. This calculation does not include public income or housing assistance. The minimum wage is the lowest payment that an employer can legally compensate its employees. The poverty wage is defined by the Department of Health and Human Services as what qualifies an individual for assistance from the federal government. Wages are offered across different family unit structures.
The living-wage calculator is a market-based approach that offers community leaders insight into the minimum wage required to cover a basic needs budget. These measures help quantify the number of people requiring assistance and the cost of living in the community.
Green: Minimum wage is above living wage.
Yellow: Minimum wage is between living and poverty wage.
Red: Minimum wage is below poverty wage.
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