Monday, August 31, 2015

New studies show how far short minimum wage workers fall in meeting living expenses

NBC News is reporting, in a story by Fred Imbert, on a New Economy Policy study on the ability of minimum wage workers to live on what they can earn.  The story title is “Can 2 parents, 2 kids live on minimum wage?  Not even close”, link here. Pew Research has its portion here  and the National Low Income Housing Coalition has a report called “Out of Reach 2015” here
A family of four needs an average of $65000 a year now across the country, but $104,000 in Washington DC.  Two minimum wage incomes together in most of the country would total $30000 a year.  I presume this takes taxes into account.

However a $15 minimum wage would, over a 40 hour week (assuming paid vacation) pay $31,200 a year per earner, of $62,400 for two earners. 

My ending salary in Minneapolis with my layoff at the end of 2001 was about $73000.  My next job paid $6 an hour plus commissions part time, but I had enhanced (for over 55) severance, retirement, a retention bonus retroactive payment, and even unemployment on top of that, and that got me close to age 62 when Social Security could start.  Insurance companies seemed better than average in taking care of older employees whom they laid off after 9/11.  (In 2003, I made $10 an hour plus 
commissions as a debt collector.)  I had also saved strategically for a few years and could continue to live as I had as a single person without disruption. (And I did have decent  health insurance.)
But suppose my “sexual intercourse” had led to having a family to support?  Isn’t that a relevant question?

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