Living wage, Living income

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Living Incomes Vision Campaign

"No person who works a full-time job should have to live in poverty"

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  • More income brings more prosperity
  • More income brings economic progress
  • More income brings less dependence on government
  • More income brings competitiveness, encourages workers & productivity
  • More income brings fairness to a system that needs to build the middle class again and compete globally
  • More income brings advances in 'purchasing power' across the economy


"Living Incomes for America"

"Envisioning Success in Our Workforce"


What is a livable/living wage?

A living wage is defined as the wage that can meet the basic needs to maintain a safe, decent standard of living within the community.

Is a living wage a religious issue?


Pope Francis in Joy of the Gospel: “We are not simply talking about ensuring nourishment or a ‘dignified sustenance’ for all people, but also their ‘general temporal welfare and prosperity.’ This means education, access to health care, and above all employment, for it is through free, creative, participatory and mutually supportive labor that human beings express and enhance the dignity of their lives. A just wage enables them to have adequate access to all the other goods which are destined for our common use.”

What people think often think about a minimum wage or living wage -- and the reality



Living Wage Calculator

Use the "Living Wage Calculator" to estimate the cost of living in your community/region, state/county/city.

The calculator lists typical expenses, the living wage, and typical wages for your selected location.

More than 50,000 people visit MIT’s Living Wage Calculator each month, trying to understand the gap between what Americans earn and what they need to earn to cover basic needs...

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Raising America’s Pay -- Why It’s Our Central Economic Policy Challenge

The ranks of the working poor now exceed 47 million, driven in part by the steep erosion of wage standards throughout our economy.

Over the last forty years, the real value of the federal minimum wage has fallen by close to 30%... the minimum wage remains far too low to sustain working families.

Living Wage Ordinances

November 2013 - Innovation Exchange -

Study of US Living Wage Laws/Ordinances-PDF, Project of the University of Wisconsin

Local Living Wage Ordinances: Experience, Evidence and Best Practices -- State Innovation Exchange

Living Wage Ordinance -- Community Wealth Org

Living Wage Laws in Practice-Abstract - 2004

Living Wage Laws-Complete Document-PDF


Living Wage News -

Economic Impact of Local Living Wages

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Economic Policy Institute -- Shared Prosperity --


Living Wage and Minimum Wage -- National Employment Law Project

New Poll Shows Overwhelming Support for Substantial Minimum Wage Increase

January 15, 2015 -- A new poll shows 75% of Americans – including 53% of Republicans – support raising the national minimum wage to $12.50 by 2020

November 2014 -- Voters raise the minimum wage in four states and two major cities


Forbes - April 15, 2014

Report: Walmart Workers Cost Taxpayers $6.2 Billion In Public Assistance


Walmart can give its Low-Wage Workforce a Raise


US House Committee on Education and the Workforce

The Low-Wage Drag on Our Economy: Wal-Mart’s low wages and their effect on taxpayers and economic growth

Social Media Links -- #LivingWage

@EconomicPolicy --

@equitablegrowth --

@Living_Cities --

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Fast Food, Poverty Wages, Public Costs

Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of enrollments in America’s major public benefits programs are from working families.

Many of them work in jobs that pay wages so low that their paychecks do not generate enough income to provide for life’s basic necessities. Low wages paid by employers in the fast-food industry create especially acute problems for the families of workers in this industry. Median pay for core front-line fast-food jobs is $8.69 an hour, with many jobs paying at or near the minimum wage.

Benefits are also scarce for front-line fast-food workers; an estimated 87 percent do not receive health benefits through their employer. The combination of low wages and benefits, often coupled with part-time employment, means that many of the families of fast-food workers must rely on taxpayer-funded safety net programs to make ends meet.

The Fast Food, Poverty Wages Report estimates the public cost of low-wage jobs in the fast-food industry. Medicaid, the Earned Income Tax Credit and the other public benefits programs discussed in this report provide a vital support system for millions of Americans working in the United States’ service industries, including fast food. We analyze public program utilization by working families and estimate total average annual public benefitexpenditures on the families of front-line fast-food workers for the years 2007–2011.

In this analysis the focus is on jobs held by core, front-line fast-food workers, defined as nonmanagerial workers who work at least 11 hours per week for 27 or more weeks per year...


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Certified' Living Wage Program models

Asheville -

Buffalo -

Ithaca -

Western Massachusetts -

Living Wage Ordinance models


Detroit -,_MI_Living_Wage

Los Angeles -

Los Angeles/Long Beach/California/National Living Wage Laws/Ordinances/Research/Results -
Los Angeles - In 1997, Los Angeles became one of the first major cities to pass a living wage law...

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International Living Wage Campaigns

Social Accountability, International Living Wage - Work to mainstream a groundbreaking methodology to advance the payment of the living wage

Global Wealth Inequality - Video

Most free trade agreements - like NAFTA and the forthcoming TPP - empower foreign corporations to sue sovereign governments for regulatory legislation that reduces their profits.

Advocacy for an International Minimum Wage

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