In many American communities, families working in low-wage jobs make insufficient income to live locally given the local cost of living.

Recently, in a number of high-cost communities, community organizers and citizens have successfully argued that the prevailing wage offered by the public sector and key businesses should reflect a wage rate required to meet minimum standards of living.

Therefore we have developed a living wage calculator to estimate the cost of living in your community or region. The calculator lists typical expenses, the living wage and typical wages for the selected location.

Recent Articles

Another Dallas Agency Uses MIT Living Wage Tool

Written by Dr. Amy K. Glasmeier and Ms. Ronette Chanel Seeney on 04/26/2016

November 2015 the Dallas City Council approved a wage increase to $10.37 an hour for all contractors and subcontractors hired by the city. This includes groundkeepers, janitors, and trash collectors. Wages of construction contractors are negotiated separately. To identify a living wage, the City Council used the MIT living wage calculator. The campaign for a living wage began in 2010 when Dallas sanitation workers called for a wage increase. The call came amid a period of budget challenges.

Initial plans had the living wage as part of the city’s bid process. Companies would gain more points with proposals that included a living wage. Needing more information, the measure was initially vetoed, but was eventually passed on a 14-1 vote. All bids are now required to include a living wage of $10.37 per hour. Councilors approved the change stating that, “It was the right thing to do.” The living wage is effective immediately and will be included in contract renewals and all ne...

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Ikea Places Number 63 on the 2016 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work for List

Written by Dr. Amy K. Glasmeier on 03/07/2016

Ikea U.S. placed number 63 on the 2016 Fortune 100 best companies to work for list. Ikea is number seven among retailers on the list.

Co-workers of the company ranked Ikea using the Great Place to Work Trust Index Employee Survey and answered questions about how frequently they experience the behaviors that create a great workplace.

Career Bliss evaluated thousands of independent company reviews posted to their websites by employees who rate their workplace according to factors that can influence one's professional happiness.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation developed the index, which evaluates corporate policies and practices related to LGBT workplace equality. Ikea received a perfect score on the Index.

In June 2014, Ikea announced a new wage structure, which bases minimum hourly wages on local living costs for co-workers as opposed to the local competitive situation.

Ikea US offers retail industry-leading scheduling, providing schedules three weeks in...

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Minimum Wage: Can an Individual or a Family Live on It?

Written by Carey Nadeau, OpenDataNation Inc. and Dr. Amy K. Glasmeier on 01/16/2016

While the minimum wage sets an earnings threshold under which our society is not willing to let families slip, it failed to approximate the basic expenses of families in 2014. Consequently, many working adults must seek public assistance and/or hold multiple jobs in order to afford to feed, clothe, house, and provide medical care for themselves and their families.

Establishing a living wage, an approximate income needed to meet a family’s basic needs, would enable the working poor to achieve financial independence while maintaining housing and food security. When coupled with lowered expenses, for childcare and housing in particular, the living wage might also free up resources for savings, investment, and/or for the purchase of capital assets (e.g. provisions for retirement or home purchases) that build wealth and ensure long-term financial security.

An analysis of the living wage, compiling geographically specific expenditure data for food, childcare, health care, housin...

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