What is a living wage?

On Behalf of | Oct 1, 2018 | Firm News, wage and hour |

There is a lot of talk these days about employers not paying employees enough. Many feel that employers in California are not paying enough for their employees to live on. This has brought up the idea of a living wage. According to CNBC, a living wage is how much you need to make to afford your basic living expenses.

Basic expenses include your housing costs, utilities, child care, insurance, food and other living expenses. The idea of a living wage is that you do not need to seek help to pay for your needs. It also means you are above the poverty line.

In a recent study, it was determined that the living wage in California for a family of two adults and one child was $57,000 a year. This would break down to $4,750 a month or about $29.69 an hour. Luckily, the current median wage in the state is above this living wage estimate. As of 2017, it was listed as $67,739.

In fact, most states in the country report a median income that is above the estimated living wage. However, you must keep in mind that median means this is the middle. There are still half of all reported earnings falling under that amount. There is great concern for those under the median income who are making less than the estimated living wage because they are likely struggling or have to seek assistance to meet their very basic needs.

While we all would probably like to earn more, earning at least a living wage seems like common sense. However, the current minimum wage is no where near what you would need to earn to make a living wage, which is why so many people are pushing for living wages. This information is for education and is not legal advice.