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Estimated Living Wage 2002 —2012, Maine Department of Labor in Maine

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Why This Indicator Matters

A basic needs approach identifies a market basket of budget items needed for a working family to maintain a reasonable standard of living. Most basic needs budgets include the same seven expense categories used by the U.S. Departments of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics: food, housing, transportation, health care, child care, clothing, and personal care. The livable wage calculation also includes an estimate of state and federal taxes.
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Definition and Source



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, view MIT Living Wage Calculator created by Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Amy Glasmeier




Last Updated

March 2012