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Why This Indicator Matters

In many Maine communities, families working in low-wage jobs earn insufficient income to make ends meet given the local cost of living. These living wage estimates provide an approximate income needed to meet a family’s basic needs. 

Why is it important?
Families are not able to pay for housing, food, transportion, child care, health care and other essential expenses with one person working full time at minimum wage. The living wage calculates what hourly wage is sufficient for a family to meet these basic needs and achieve financial independence.

In a statewide referendum, voters approved raising the state minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2020 through incremental annual wage raises. In 2018 the minimum wage is $10 per hour.
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Definitions: The living wage is defined as the wage needed to cover basic family expenses (basic needs budget) plus all relevant taxes. To convert values from annual to hourly, a work-year of 2,080 hours (40 hours per week for 52 weeks) per adult is assumed.

The basic needs budget and living wage are calculated as follows:

 Basic needs budget = Food cost + child care cost + (insurance premiums + health care costs) + housing cost + transportation cost + other necessities cost

Living wage = Basic needs budget + (basic needs budget*tax rate)
The data shown is for a single adult with 2 children.

For more information visit: http://livingwage.mit.edu/resources/MIT-Part-Time-Documentation.pdf 

Data Source: MIT Living Wage Calculator
Accessed 3/12/2018