A closer look at the living wage

Mr. Editor:

For US counties, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology publishes a Living Wage Calculator (https://livingwage.mit.edu/), updated annually.

The calculator describes the “living wage” as “the minimum income standard which, if met, draws a fine line between the financial independence of the working poor and the need to seek public assistance or suffer from insecurity. constant and serious food and housing ”.

The calculator’s first graph, adjusted for each county and adjusted for different numbers of adults and children in a household, shows the salary each worker must earn throughout the year to support the household. Full-time, full-year employment is assumed to be 40 hours per week, 52 weeks per year (2,080 hours).

Other charts show annual household expenses and the typical wage for various types of work if the worker was employed year round.

The technical notes list the assumptions used in the calculation of the numbers. For example, expenses do not include funds for prepared meals and dining out, or for savings for a home purchase or retirement.

For Hancock County, for example, the living wage needed to support a one-person household is $ 15.26 an hour, full-time, year-round ($ 31,741 per year).

For two adults and two children, one of whom is working, the annual income must be $ 66,747 ($ 32.09 per hour for 2,080 hours).

If both adults are working (two children), the annual household income should be $ 85,155 (for example, each worker earns $ 20.47 per hour, full time, year round).

CH Keefe

Ellsworth