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report: an hourly wage of $ 15 is not livable anywhere in the United States | Best States

By on August 6, 2021 0


The federal minimum wage has remained at $ 7.25 an hour for the past 12 years. Despite years of debate over a raise to $ 15 an hour and a recent focus in Congress on raising wages, even though that increase has been implemented, it is no longer enough to support the average American family.

A new report from USAFacts shows that one-income households earning $ 15 an hour would take two years working every day of the week to earn what the average family spends annually.

The analysis focuses on the average 20% of employees and compares an hourly wage of $ 15 to average family expenses such as health care, food and shelter using data compiled by the Internal Revenue Service, the Bureau of Labor and the Census Bureau for 2018, the most recent year with complete data.

Of those US households, 71% rely primarily on one family earner.

While average family expenses differ from state to state, data shows that no family relying on a single $ 15 hourly income could afford the average annual spending anywhere in the United States.

In Mississippi, the state with the lowest average family expenses, it would take 72 full work weeks at $ 15 an hour to cover expenses, and the state’s current minimum wage is only 7 , $ 25 per hour. In Washington, DC, where average family expenses are highest, it would take over two and a half years.

Only nine states and Washington, DC, have or are in the process of implementing a minimum wage of $ 15 an hour, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Even if a federal minimum wage of $ 15 were enacted, American families counting on a single minimum wage would only bring in about half the money needed to cover average basic expenses each year.

President Joe Biden included a minimum wage increase in an early version of the American Rescue Plan Act, but it was removed from the final text.

In a decree in April, Biden demanded federal contractors pay their employees $ 15 an hour by March 2022.