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

Update: New Data, New Findings, Always Clarifying the Message Based on User Feedback

Written by Carey Nadeau and Dr. Amy K. Glasmeier on 05/28/2015

Living wage calculations are based on publicly available. The calculation itself, however is based on a complex formula that we update as new information and user observations reach our desks. When users of the calculator observe a result that doesn't make sense to them they write us and we dive back into the tool to see what is going on. We encourage you to let us know what you think and also what you find.

Wage data (adjusted for inflation) for 50,846,234 households from the American Community Survey 1-year estimates were compared to the living wage. These households were selected because the family compositions, including age and labor force status, were comparable to the family compositions included in the living wage calculator.

More than one-third of families (37.6%), more than 19.1 million families, earned less than the living wage, compared to 20.3% below the poverty line in 2014. Over 8.6 million families (for which living wage comparisons are available) earn abo...

Read more

Update: New Data, New Findings, Always Clarifying the Message Based on User Feedback

Written by Carey Nadeau and Dr. Amy K. Glasmeier on 05/28/2015

Living wage calculations are based on publicly available data. The calculation itself, however is based on a formula that includes multiple sub calculations that we update as new information in the form of user observations reaches our desks. When users of the calculator observe a result that doesn't make sense to them they write us and we dive back into the tool to see what is going on. We encourage you to let us know what you think and also what you find.

Wage data (adjusted for inflation) for 50,846,234 households from the American Community Survey 1-year estimates were compared to the living wage. These households were selected because the family compositions, including age and labor force status, were comparable to the family compositions included in the living wage calculator.

More than one-third of families (37.6%), more than 19.1 million families, earned less than the living wage, compared to 20.3% below the poverty line in 2014. Over 8.6 million families (for whi...

Read more

Minimum Wage Increasing in Key Urban Population Centers: Living Wage Calculator Updated Annually

Written by Dr. Amy K. Glasmeier on 05/20/2015

Recent announcements of an increase in the minimum wage in cities across the U.S. are hopeful signs that local wage rates are coming to reflect closer estimates of the cost of living in key markets around the country such as Boston, Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago and the recently announced increase in Los Angeles, CA. As reported in the Los Angeles Times (LA Times) last night:

> The nation’s second-largest city voted Tuesday to increase its minimum wage from $9 an hour to $15 an hour by 2020, in what is perhaps the most significant victory so far for labor groups and their allies who are engaged in a national push to raise the minimum wage

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/20/us/los-angeles-expected-to-raise-minimum-wage-to-15-an-hour.html?emc=edit_th_20150520&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=15672570&_r=0)/

Like the majority of changes in local minimum wages, these increases in income roll out slowly over time to provide employers with the ability to adjust their business operations ...

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