Tags: Minimum Wage | minimum wage | difference | living wage | los angeles

What's The Difference Between Minimum Wage and Living Wage in Los Angeles?

By    |   Wednesday, 13 May 2015 12:38 PM

California is one of 29 states in the U.S. to pay workers a higher rate than the federal minimum wage of $7.25, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. As of Feb. 24, 2015, those earning the minimum take in $9 an hour in The Golden State.

Los Angeles has no citywide minimum wage, but businesses must offer at least the $9 an hour state rate, which will be raised to $10 an hour in 2016. But L.A. is an expensive city, and local lawmakers have proposed legislation that would immediately boost the hourly rate to $10.25, and then see it increase to $11.75 in 2016 and to $13.25 in 2017, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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Beyond that, the rate would be adjusted each year for inflation, according to the Consumer Price Index, with a limit of 2.5 percent in increases. The proposed law would cover all LA-based workers, except state and federal government employees and the self-employed.

While an improvement, it won't solve all the problems for struggling Americans. A living wage for one adult in Los Angeles County is $11.37 an hour, according to a report from Dr. Amy K. Glasmeier of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The report defines living wage as, "The hourly rate that an individual must earn to support their family, if they are the sole provider and are working full-time (2,080 hours per year)."

An adult supporting one child would need to earn $23.53 an hour to reach a living wage, and $27.15 for two children, the report states. The city and state of California have kept their minimum wages north of the poverty wage, which was estimated at $5.21 for one single adult in LA.

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The MIT report examined normal expenses such as food, child care, medical needs, lodging and transportation. It found employees in management, engineering, legal services, education, computers, and business and finance services, among a few others, earned more than a living wage for LA.

However, many jobs fell below the living wage for one adult with a child, the MIT analysis found. These fields included social services, healthcare support, sales, farming and maintenance, based on typical hourly wages.

Typical wages in the food-service and personal care industry were below the $11.37 living wage for one adult with no children.

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California is one of 29 states in the U.S. to pay workers a higher rate than the federal minimum wage of $7.25, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. As of Feb. 24, 2015, those earning the minimum take in $9 an hour in The Golden State.
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Wednesday, 13 May 2015 12:38 PM
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