Living Wage Calculation for Santa Cruz County, California

The living wage shown is the hourly rate that an individual in a household must earn to support themsleves and/or their family, working full-time, or 2080 hours per year. The tables below provide living wage estimates for individuals and households with one or two working adults and zero to three children. In households with two working adults, all hourly values reflect what one working adult requires to earn to meet their families’ basic needs, assuming the other adult also earns the same.

The poverty wage and state minimum wage are for reference purposes. Poverty wage estimates come from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Poverty Guidelines for 2024 and have been converted from an annual value to an hourly wage for ease of comparison. The state minimum wage data is sourced from the Labor Law Center and includes the minimum wage in a given state as of January of that year.

For further detail, please reference the Methodology page. The data on this page was last updated on February 14, 2024.

1 ADULT 2 ADULTS

(1 WORKING)

2 ADULTS

(BOTH WORKING)

0 Children 1 Child 2 Children 3 Children 0 Children 1 Child 2 Children 3 Children 0 Children 1 Child 2 Children 3 Children
Living Wage $36.64 $63.66 $78.62 $101.47 $46.26 $58.54 $64.15 $71.84 $23.13 $33.88 $41.72 $50.13
Poverty Wage $7.24 $9.83 $12.41 $15.00 $9.83 $12.41 $15.00 $17.59 $4.91 $6.21 $7.50 $8.79
Minimum Wage $16.00 $16.00 $16.00 $16.00 $16.00 $16.00 $16.00 $16.00 $16.00 $16.00 $16.00 $16.00

Typical Expenses

The table below shows the costs of each basic need that go into estimating the living wage. Like with the living wage, their values vary by location and family size.

1 ADULT 2 ADULTS

(1 WORKING)

2 ADULTS

(BOTH WORKING)

0 Children 1 Child 2 Children 3 Children 0 Children 1 Child 2 Children 3 Children 0 Children 1 Child 2 Children 3 Children
Food $5,317 $7,838 $11,757 $15,627 $9,749 $12,135 $15,628 $19,055 $9,749 $12,135 $15,628 $19,055
Child Care $0 $15,024 $30,047 $43,552 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $15,024 $30,047 $43,552
Medical $2,938 $9,873 $9,761 $10,224 $6,835 $9,761 $10,224 $9,819 $6,835 $9,761 $10,224 $9,819
Housing $34,365 $48,900 $48,900 $60,310 $37,212 $48,900 $48,900 $60,310 $37,212 $48,900 $48,900 $60,310
Transportation $11,071 $12,813 $16,140 $18,571 $12,813 $16,140 $18,571 $18,549 $12,813 $16,140 $18,571 $18,549
Civic $3,032 $5,335 $6,715 $7,776 $5,335 $6,715 $7,776 $7,269 $5,335 $6,715 $7,776 $7,269
Internet & Mobile $1,481 $1,481 $1,481 $1,481 $2,076 $2,076 $2,076 $2,076 $2,076 $2,076 $2,076 $2,076
Other $4,739 $8,459 $8,994 $12,431 $8,459 $8,994 $12,431 $11,950 $8,459 $8,994 $12,431 $11,950
Required annual income after taxes $62,943 $109,722 $133,795 $169,972 $82,478 $104,720 $115,606 $129,028 $82,478 $119,743 $145,653 $172,580
Annual taxes $13,272 $22,690 $29,729 $41,087 $13,748 $17,041 $17,827 $20,401 $13,748 $21,189 $27,902 $35,948
Required annual income before taxes $76,215 $132,413 $163,524 $211,059 $96,225 $121,761 $133,433 $149,430 $96,225 $140,932 $173,556 $208,528

Typical Annual Salaries

The average annual salaries for various occupations in the table below comes from the latest state-level data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates. When available, this data is specific to a given metro area.

Occupational Area Typical Annual Salary
Management $155,120
Business & Financial Operations $94,210
Computer & Mathematical $143,670
Architecture & Engineering $116,250
Life, Physical, & Social Science $97,210
Community & Social Service $65,450
Legal $153,910
Education, Training, & Library $75,880
Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, & Media $107,330
Healthcare Practitioners & Technical $119,400
Healthcare Support $37,760
Protective Service $64,790
Food Preparation & Serving Related $37,220
Building & Grounds Cleaning & Maintenance $41,940
Personal Care & Service $42,080
Sales & Related $58,040
Office & Administrative Support $52,170
Farming, Fishing, & Forestry $36,710
Construction & Extraction $69,630
Installation, Maintenance, & Repair $63,170
Production $48,670
Transportation & Material Moving $46,880