Articles

Addressing Food Insecurity in a Pandemic Era

Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates are the two richest men in the world. What do they have in common? They both reside in the city of Seattle, Washington. Seattle boasts a handful of multi-billion dollar companies that have brought immense prosperity, job ...

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Health Risks Down in the Valley: COVID-19 and the Rio Grande Valley in Texas

COVID is wreaking havoc on Texas, a state that ignored warnings and eased restrictions in early May. The state’s major cities are at a critical stage. Harris County, the most populous county in the state, had 1,957 cases per 100,000 residents as o...

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Older Workers Face Health Risk and Job Loss During Pandemic

The pandemic is having an unprecedented impact on older working Americans, who are not only at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 but are also facing significant job losses. In previous economic downturns, older workers experience...

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Nothing New Under the Sun: Covid-19 Brings to Light Persistent Issues in the Navajo Nation

July in Arizona is almost unbearable. Triple-digit temperatures ground air service and dust clouds the size of cities sweep across the land. Like a whirlwind rising off the desert floor, the once flat line in the state’s May infection rate is ex...

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Can’t Work From Home: Essential Workers Face Double Whammy Being Most Likely to Experience Job Lo...

While it is no surprise to learn that the COVID economic crisis disproportionately affects different types of individuals and business sectors, a recent study conducted by professors at MIT and Northwestern University helps shed some light as to...

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Who Takes Care of the Children of Essential Workers?

It is clear why C. Nicole Mason, president, and chief executive of the Institute for Women's Policy Research, calls the current crisis a "shecession"[1]. During the current economic downturn, women's employment is declining at higher rates than me...

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Double Whammy: Essential Workers Threatened by Job Loss While Facing the Highest Risk of COVID In...

While it is no surprise to learn that the COVID economic crisis disproportionately affects different types of individuals and business sectors, a recent study conducted by professors at MIT and Northwestern University helps shed some light as to...

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COVID-19 and California’s Central Valley

COVID-19 and California’s Central Valley

While much of the COVID-related attention in California focuses on the state's densely-populated coastal cities, the inland counties of the Central Valley face their own set of challenges. The impact of ...

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College Towns Empty Out, Leaving Covid Behind. Cambridge, Massachusetts

Welcome to the first blog post of Living Wage Local Spotlights: Coronavirus Edition. By Examining towns, cities, and counties across the country, we are chronicling the many ways communities respond to the ongoing Pandemic. The Living Wage Local...

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Regional Network to Support COVID Recovery

As a research lab, we are monitoring the nation’s continuing medical emergency resulting from the Pandemic. Our around the clock efforts focus on identifying states and communities, local governments and institutions of greatest vulnerability ...

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Vacation Lands Cannot Evade the Effects of COVID

The situation in the UP: 1.5% of cases, 54% of the land, and a disproportionate amount of the burden

While most COVID cases around the country are in major cities, rural areas such as the counties of Michigan's Upper Peninsula (UP) are not i...

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HUD Revises Forecasting Method for Calculating Current Fair Market Rents (FMRs)

Although there were no methodological changes to the Living Wage calculator in 2020, many counties and metropolitan areas saw significant changes in living wage levels. The largest component of these changes is housing cost, which reflects a revis...

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Living Wage Local Spotlight. Richmond City, Virginia. Living Wage is $13.39 per hour

From the American Revolution to the Civil War and on through the civil rights era, the city of Richmond, Virginia has continually served as a pivotal locale in our nation’s struggle for progress. Today, Virginia’s capital city is home to almost 22...

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New Living Wage Data for Now Available on the Tool

A Calculation of the Living Wage

On March 2, 2020, we posted new living wage data for the country, states, metropolitan areas, and counties. In general, changes in the living wage tracks the inflation rate at the national level. The inflation r...

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Cost of Living Estimation for City of Malden, Massachusetts

By Frank S. Li
M.P.P. student at Brandeis University
Research Associate at the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy
January 2, 2020

All measures of family economics fundamentally must communicate whether people are able to live and subsis...

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All is Not Well For Low Wage Workers Published in The Wall Street Journal

Your editorial “The Economy’s Inequality Dividend” (Jan. 11) suggests that things are getting better for low-wage workers. You gloss over the real economic hardship by focusing only on growth rates without also considering actual wage levels.

M...

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Maryland prison staffing ‘crisis’ endangers inmates, officers

If you want to be an entry level correctional officer in Maryland, this is what you can look forward to, according to a job description posted by the state: being on call 24 hours a day and subduing and restraining inmates “during fights, riots an...

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Commentary: Too many people aren’t earning enough to get by. Delaware State News

Here we go again. As soon as raising the state’s minimum wage is mentioned, out of the woods comes Dr. John E. Stapleford scaring up the public with doom of businesses closing their doors should such an increase occur. (“Minimum wage hike would ...

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Rudd announces raises to get lowest-paid workers to $13 by July 1; The Mephian

The lowest-paid workers at the University of Memphis will get an 89-cent-an-hour raise on April 1 and an additional $1 on July 1, bringing them to $13 an hour within six months.

It is not the $15 workers have been pushing to get.

University ...

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A living wage for healthcare workers is essential to achieve health equity

Increasing recognition that achieving health equity is critical to delivering on the full promise of healthcare's Triple Aim has led many health systems to reimagine their contributions to improving health and well-being through their policies and...

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The federal minimum wage hasn’t increased in a decade, but the prices of everything else has

Published in Fast Company

The federal minimum wage was raised to $7.25 per hour on July 24, 2009, an increase from $6.55 per hour—a rate set in July of 2008, which was itself an increase from $5.85 per hour set in 2007. Yes, the minimum wage ...

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All I want for Christmas is affordable health care; Albuquerque Journal

Dear Santa:

Could you please deliver this note to Democrat and Republican leaders, doctors, hospitals, insurers, employers, drug and medical technology manufacturers and other people responsible for the future of the U.S. health care system? ...

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Living Wage Local Spotlight Location: Nassau County, New York

Living Wage Local Spotlight
Location: Nassau County, New York
Living Wage: $15.53 per hour (based on MIT Living Wage Calculator)
Minimum Wage: $12.00 per hour (1)

A mere stone’s throw away from New York City’s bright lights lies the wealthie...

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Where can you afford to rent in California? By Ryan Murphy and Priya Krishnakumar

AUG. 29, 2019

The Los Angeles Times reports on a housing cost tool developed for the paper.

The Times operates a calculator that enables the user to identify where they can afford to live based on their income relative to local housing cost...

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Two Sides of the Debate About Raising the Minimum Wage

Twenty Democrats took the stage in Miami, Florida on June 26th and 27th for the first round of 2020 Democratic Party Presidential Debates. All but Andrew Yang support a $15 federal minimum wage, although few mentioned a living wage. The candidat...

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Americans Perceptions of the Role of Business in American Society

Based on the views of 90,000 Americans polled over the last five years, in a recent article in Forbes, the business magazine, Martin Whitaker of JUST Capital offers the following reflection about the public’s perceptions of business’ role in Ame...

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Walmart CEO calls for an Increase in the Minimum Wage*

On the same day, Eric Ravenscraft writing in the New York Times presented a distillation of the living wage discussion in the U.S., the CEO of Walmart went on record indicating that in his opinion the minimum wage was too low. In several of ou...

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Do You Earn a ‘Living Wage’? Cut Through the Confusion

On June 5th, the New York Times freelance writer Eric Ravenscraft published a highly readable and accurate accounting of the living wage discussion taking place in America today. Summarizing the history of the minimum wage while pointing out its...

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The Other Minimum Wage: Restaurant Workers and the Tipped Minimum Wage

In recent times we’ve seen a growing fervor behind movements to increase the minimum wage on a federal level, and in different jurisdictions across the country. Prominent voices on the congressional floor are broaching the issue of wage disparity,...

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Is the Low Wage Iceberg Finally Beginning to Melt?

On the eve of his testimony before Congress last week, the president of Bank of America made two announcements(1). First the Bank will offer a starting salary to entry-level workers of $17.00/hour; second, existing employees will make $20 an hour ...

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Barcelona Spain Adopts a Living Wage

Location: Barcelona, Spain

Living Wage: N/A

Minimum Wage: €9960.40 per year (1)

Vibrant, zestful, and culturally diverse. In many ways Barcelona, Spain stands as a shining example of a thriving European City. At the same time, Barcelona i...

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The Central Bank of Malaysia, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), introduces the " Concept of Living Wage"

In March of 2018, the Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has introduced the concept of “living wage,” which is the minimum income needed for a household to participate in society, the opportunity for personal and family development and freedom over severe...

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Living Wages, How Do They Affect A Person's Sense of Economic Security? Examining a New Measure o...

Money may not buy happiness, but economic security is certainly a step towards it. A myriad of studies have investigated the link between economic standing and an individual’s holistic well-being. These studies provide empirical backing for an alm...

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Minimum wage in Florida to increase in the New Year

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - The New Year is just a few days away, and that means new laws will go into effect starting next Wednesday.

One of the biggest changes? The minimum wage in Florida will be raised. The state’s minimum wage is $8.46 per hou...

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NEW DATA UP: Calculation of the Living Wage

<strong>A Calculation of the Living Wage</strong>

While the minimum wage sets an earnings threshold under which our society is not willing to let families slip, it fails to approximate the basic expenses of families in 2018. Consequently, many ...

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Impact Of The Minimum Wage On The Poor (Response To Jardim Critique)

Income inequality is becoming a more and more pressing issue within the United States. The growth of the gap between America’s top earners and the rest of the country has many concerned that the poor and even the working class may soon be left b...

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Living Wage Local Spotlight Location: Orange County, North Carolina

Living Wage: $11.83 per hour

Minimum Wage: $7.25 per hour

Orange County is one of the areas with the highest cost of living within the state of North Carolina. The county is home to almost 145,000 people and a concerted grassroots effort t...

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AvalonBay may not be a household name, but it is a name associated with thousands of households a...

AvalonBay may not be a household name, but it is a name associated with thousands of households across the U.S. The American company is one of the nation’s largest exchange listed real estate investment trusts (REITs) with an estimated total enter...

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Living Wage Local Spotlight

Living Wage Local Spotlight

Location: Dallas, Texas

Living Wage: $11.15 per hour

Minimum Wage: $7.25 per hour

One of the major cities in a state that was grown rapidly over the last three decades, Dallas, Texas makes for an interesti...

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Bare Facts About the Living Wage in America 2017-2018

The minimum wage sets an earnings threshold under which our society is not willing to let families slip; nonetheless, it fails to approximate the basic expenses of families in 2017. An analysis of the living wage, compiling geographically specifi...

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IKEA Places Number 1 on the 2018 Best Brands in Europe

IKEA, a giant in the furniture industry, is also a pioneer across sectors regarding wage structure. Company executives at IKEA are committed to ensuring a high quality of life for their employees by providing them with a variety of benefits includ...

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Premier League Soccer Clubs Pledge to Pay Permanent Staff a Living Wage

Sports today serve as much more than just a source of entertainment. Athletes are touted as role models, global sporting events like the Olympics exemplify a spirit of togetherness that the world seldom sees, and astronomical sums of money are pou...

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NEW DATA UP: Calculation of the Living Wage

A Calculation of the Living Wage

While the minimum wage sets an earnings threshold under which our society is not willing to let families slip, it fails to approximate the basic expenses of families in 2017. Consequently, many working adults...

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More News From the Field: A Prison Psychologist, A State Education Research Director, A Private S...

Hello Dr. Glasmeier,

I am a Psychologist in the federal Bureau of Prisons and, in response to your recent posting on the living wage calculator website "Who Uses the Living Wage Tool and Why", I just wanted to let you know that I use the LWC w...

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Who Uses the Living Wage Tool and Why?

People often ask me, “who uses the living wage tool.” My answer mostly reflects the moment. I get several user emails a day. The stories and queries range from “Your calculator has no idea how expensive it is to live in Seattle, I don’t care what ...

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Living Wage Rate Tied to the Cost of Housing and Child Care

Living wages include several cost factors; the two most important are housing and child care expenses . The Living Wage Calculator uses the county level Fair Market Rent (FMR) rate produced by the Department of Housing and Urban Development as p...

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Results from the 2016 Data Update

Establishing a living wage, an approximate income needed to meet a family’s basic needs, would enables the working poor to achieve financial independence while maintaining housing and food security. When coupled with lowered expenses, for chil...

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Findings from latest Living Wage data update

The data behind the Living Wage Calculator has received another update. It is now current as of February 7th, 2017.

You can read about the latest findings and analysis in this document.

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City of Dallas contracts more expensive, but better workers are sticking around thanks to living ...

With a year of experience, the city of Dallas, Texas released the results of the first year of the city’s living wage program. Approved in late 2015, the Dallas City Council established a minimum wage rate for city contract employees of $10.37/hou...

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Four States Pass Minimum Wage Initiatives

In Tuesday’s election, four states passed ballot initiatives to raise the minimum wage. By 2020 minimum wage rates will rise to $12.00/hour in Arizona, Colorado, and Maine. Washington state's minimum wage will increase to $13.50, also by 2020....

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New Data: Calculating the Living Wage for U.S. States, Counties and Metro Areas

Checked for accuracy on 8/17/2016; Numerical values are consistent with living wage 2015 estimates published on 8/15/2016.

While the minimum wage sets an earnings threshold under which our society is not willing to let families slip, it fails...

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NEW 2015 Living Wage Data

Rising Income Inequality Makes Living Wages All The More Important

America's middle class families steadily lost share of the nation's income over the 2000-2014 period. http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2016/05/11/americas-shrinking-middle-class-...

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Another Dallas Agency Uses MIT Living Wage Tool

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 nego...

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

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 ...

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

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 h...

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2014 Data Indicate That Four in Ten Children Live in Low-Income Families Half of These Are in Poo...

Carsey Institute Brief, University of New Hampshire
December 16, 2015

As we approach the holidays, new analysis from the UNH Carsey School of Public Policy illustrates the impact of poverty on the lives of America's children. While most Amer...

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The Tipping Point: Most Americans No Longer Are Middle Class

Americans have long lived in a nation made up primarily of middle-class families, neither rich nor poor, but comfortable enough.

This year, that changed, according to the Pew Research Center.

A just-released analysis of government data shows...

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Health Insurance Costs Rise As Wage Rates Stagnate Placing Families At Risk

Health insurance premiums and wage rates are linked. A major component of the living wage tool is the amount of income individuals and family members must spent to purchase health insurance. Health insurance is critical to workers and families...

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Two New Reports On New Orleans: Brookings Uses Living Wage Calculator to Examine Beneficiaries of...

https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/new-orleans-poverty-jobs-brookings-cluster-theory

Posted at NextCity
New Orleans’ New Normal Is Leaving Many Residents Farther Behind
BY MALCOLM BURNLEY | AUGUST 13, 2015

"New Brookings Institution data rel...

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Why Companies and Employers Say They Use the Living Wage Calculator

The recent announcement by IKEA that its 2015 compensation scheme will utilize the values from the living wage calculator has prompted a number from the tool using community.

I am frequently asked, “why do businesses use the living wage tool?"...

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Updating Our Minimum Hourly Wage for Retail Co-Workers

IKEA US announced that we will once again raise the minimum hourly wage for US retail co-workers, following our move earlier this year to a new minimum wage structure. The change, which will be effective as of January 1, 2016, will take the ave...

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

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...

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

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 F...

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New Data, New Geography, Message Still the Same: American Families Struggle To Get By

Starting its 11th year, the living wage calculator now presents data for 2014. There is new documentation describing the components of the calculator, their spatial scale and date of the data elements. A new addition to the tool is data availabili...

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Update on 3/24/2014

While the minimum wage sets an earnings threshold under which our society is not willing to let families slip, it fails to approximate the basic expenses of families in 2013. Consequently, many working adults must seek public assistance and/or hol...

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