Tags: Minimum Wage | minimum wage | difference | living wage | washington dc

What's The Difference Between Minimum Wage and Living Wage in Washington, DC?

By    |   Monday, 11 May 2015 03:21 PM

The District of Columbia provides one of the highest base pay levels in the United States, yet those trying to live on a minimum wage in the nation's capital might not make enough money to meet their basic needs.

Although the District of Columbia's minimum wage is $9.50 an hour — and slated to rise to $11.50 an hour by July 2016 — the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says $13.68 an hour is the lowest wage at which subsistence needs can be met by a single person with no dependents in Washington D.C.

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A living wage is the minimum income necessary for an employee to meet their basic everyday needs. These needs differ based on marital status, number of children, debt and other cost-of-living considerations. Living wages can include general benefits such as health and dental care.

According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the living wage in Washington D.C. is $13.68 an hour for a single person, $26.37 for an adult with one child, $32.97 for an adult with two children, $42.39 for an adult with three children, $19.76 for two adults, $23.54 for two adults and a child, $24.95 for two adults with two children and $29.75 for two adults with three children.

Meanwhile, the minimum wage is the lowest amount of compensation an employee must receive while performing a specific job.

The District of Columbia has a higher minimum wage than any of the 50 states at $9.50 an hour, according to the Department of Labor. Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia mandate minimum wages higher than the federal level of $7.25 an hour, while 14 states use the federal minimum wage, two states have minimum wages lower than the federal level and five states require no minimum wage.

An employee is entitled to whichever among the state and federal minimum wage levels is higher, meaning the minimum wage in Washington D.C. is the District of Columbia's rate of $9.50 an hour rather than the federal rate.

Vote Now: How Do You Feel About the Minimum Wage?

The District of Columbia's minimum wage will increase to $10.50 an hour on July 1, 2015, and to $11.50 an hour potentially in July 2016.

Legislation requires the district's minimum wage to automatically rise to $1 an hour above the federal minimum wage rate if the district’s minimum wage ever becomes lower than the federal level, according to Minimumwage.org.

Although the District of Columbia has a higher minimum wage than any of the other states, some U.S. cities mandate a higher base pay rate. For example, San Francisco and Oakland, Calif. currently require the highest minimum wage of $12.25 an hour, according to Fox KTVU.

However,  the nation's highest minimum wage mandated in any municipality is set to effect July 1, 2015, in the Bay Area city of Emeryville, Calif., where the required base pay will be $12.25 an hour for companies with 55 employees or less and $14.44 an hour for companies with more than 55 employees, according to CBS SF Bay Area.

Tell Us: Should the Government Raise the Minimum Wage?

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The District of Columbia provides one of the highest base pay levels in the United States, yet those trying to live on a minimum wage in the nation's capital might not make enough money to meet their basic needs.
minimum wage, difference, living wage, washington dc
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2015-21-11
Monday, 11 May 2015 03:21 PM
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