Tags: Minimum Wage | US State Facts | minimum wage | living wage | Wyoming

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

By    |   Sunday, 22 Nov 2015 11:14 AM

A state’s minimum wage is the least amount of money an employer can pay workers, and applies to employees earning an hourly wage, not those on salary. Technically, the minimum wage in Wyoming is $5.15, making it the lowest in the country, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

However, when the state and federal minimum wage differ, the higher rate applies. This means workers earn at least the federal minimum wage in Wyoming. This was raised to $7.25 per hour in 2009.

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The minimum wage establishes a basic standard for compensating employees, but that doesn’t mean it’s enough to allow workers to thrive. This would be a living wage, which the Massachusetts Institute of Technology defines as “the hourly rate that an individual must earn to support their family, if they are the sole provider and are working full-time, which is 40 hours per week.

According to MIT, even the higher federal rate is not a living wage. The university analyzed what an adult must earn in each state to make enough money to support themselves and their family. In Wyoming, a single adult would need to earn at least $9.93 per hour. This amount increases considerably for families. An adult with one child, for example, would need to earn at least $20.80 per hour, and an adult with two children would need to earn at least $26.82 per hour.

Wyoming State Rep. Jim Byrd (D-Cheyenne) pointed out that the minimum wage was not a living wage when he sponsored House Bill 24 in 2014. The bill would raise the minimum wage to $9 per hour, and to $5 per hour for workers who depend on tips as part of their wages.

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These employees, such as restaurant servers, currently earn a minimum wage of $2.13 in Wyoming. As quoted in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle, Byrd emphasized that the wage increase was needed to help workers better afford the necessities of life, saying, "This just means helping them afford some extra groceries, a better winter coat or a couple pairs of shoes for their kids."

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A state's minimum wage is the least amount of money an employer can pay workers, and applies to employees earning an hourly wage, not those on salary. Technically, the minimum wage in Wyoming is $5.15, making it the lowest in the country.
minimum wage, living wage, Wyoming
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2015-14-22
Sunday, 22 Nov 2015 11:14 AM
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