Friday, September 15, 2006

How Much is a Living Wage?

To answer the question go here to the 'Poverty in America' website' and click on the 'living wage' calculator. Using the calculator you can determine the living wage for a specific town, city, township, in any state in the USA. Here is the link to the calculation of the 'living wage' necessary if you live in Harrietstown township in Franklin County NY. The calculator will show you living expenses for the area, hourly wages needed to meet those expenses and wages paid for different trades and professions.

Here are the per hour 'living wages' necessary for Saranac Lake, NY:

One adult - $7.72
Two adults - $11.27
One adult, one child - $14.69
Two adults, one child - $16.72
Two adults, two children - $21.05

And, for Bentonville, Ak:

One adult - $6.72
Two adults - $9.45
One adult, one child - $11.76
Two adults, one child -$13.68
Two adults, two children - $16.90

Note: The above figures are in 2004 dollars. Also, the calculator gets the minimum wage for NYS wrong. It provides the Federal minimum hourly wage. The minimum hourly wage for NY is $6.75 and will increase to $7.15 in 2007. I doubt this affects the calculation of living wage.


Someone in USA said...

Those numbers seem to be in line with Wal-Mart's entry level wages. What are you all complaining about? Thanks for showing me that Wal-Mart does indeed pay a living wage.

Anonymous said...

for one adult - what if you have a couple of kids? The so called "living wage" that Wal-Mart pays (remember that the "average" for Wal-Mart includes it's execs) it's on-the-floor employee, is really about what a high school kid could expect for his first job.

Someone in USA said...

Actually, the average doesn't include executives, or any salaried workers. It does, however, include hourly supervisors and long-term hourlies that can skew the average upward. The average starting pay was $7.25 before the new pay ranges, and I think it's $7.50 now, but I haven't seen the official number from Wal-Mart.

Wages are more generous than you give them credit. That doesn't mean I think you can support a family on them.