Living Wage

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Definition of 'Living Wage'

A living wage is the minimum income necessary for a worker to meet their basic needs. The living wage is often used as a benchmark for determining the adequacy of wages and benefits. The living wage is not the same as the minimum wage, which is the lowest legal wage that employers can pay workers. The living wage is based on the cost of living in a particular area, and it includes expenses such as housing, food, transportation, and childcare.

The living wage is important because it ensures that workers are able to meet their basic needs. When workers are paid a living wage, they are able to afford housing in safe neighborhoods, buy healthy food, and pay for transportation to and from work. They are also able to save for the future and provide for their families.

The living wage is not a fixed amount. It varies depending on the cost of living in a particular area. The living wage is also affected by factors such as the size of the household and the number of children.

There are a number of ways to calculate the living wage. One common method is to use the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Index (CPI). The CPI is a measure of the cost of goods and services in the United States. The living wage is calculated by multiplying the CPI by a factor that reflects the number of people in the household.

Another method for calculating the living wage is to use the Economic Policy Institute's (EPI) Family Budget Calculator. The EPI's Family Budget Calculator takes into account the cost of housing, food, transportation, childcare, and other expenses. The living wage is calculated by adding up the cost of these expenses.

The living wage is an important concept because it helps to ensure that workers are able to meet their basic needs. The living wage is also a tool that can be used to advocate for higher wages and benefits for workers.

Here are some additional resources on the living wage:

* [The Living Wage Foundation](https://livingwage.mit.edu/)
* [The Economic Policy Institute](https://www.epi.org/)
* [The Center for Economic and Policy Research](https://cepr.org/)

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