What Will It Take To Have A Living Wage?


There are some places where I say to myself- it would be really fun to work here. IKEA is one of them but could I afford to? They recently announced a new, higher wage structure beginning in 2015 that is based on the MIT Living Wage Calculator. The average hourly minimum wage will go up to $10.76, an increase of 17 percent. This is based on a single person with no children, the lowest wage the calculator offers. For an IKEA worker in an expensive suburb of Washington, D.C it will be $13.22 an hour. In Pittsburgh, where cost of living is much lower it will be $8.29 an hour.

The minimum wage does not provide a living wage for most American families. Families earning between the poverty threshold of $23,283 for two working adults and two children and the median living wage of $51,224 for two working adults and two children per year before taxes fall short of the income and assistance they require to meet their basic needs. A typical family of four with two working adults and two children needs to work more than 3 full-time minimum-wage jobs or a 68-hour work week per working adult to earn a living wage.

IKEA is making a small effort but is not even close to providing for the basics let alone any extras like a week at the beach or a dinner from Whole Foods. The whole situation is pitiful- really.

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