What is a living wage in Connecticut?

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House Democrats outlining their platform Tuesday said they’d like to see that workers are paid a “living” wage, but said that didn’t mean raising the state’s minimum wage.

“I think we’re going to let the economy drive a living wage,” House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz said in a presentation at Goodwin College.

Regardless of the means of accomplishing it, what would a living wage — a wage required for an individual to support his or her family working full time – look like in Connecticut?

By one estimate, a living wage in Connecticut is $12.12 per hour for a single person living alone, according to the Living Wage Calculator developed by MIT professor Dr. Amy K. Glasmeier. That living wage estimate varies by county and metro-area: It’s highest in Fairfield County ($13.48) and lowest in Windham County ($10.33).

Connecticut’s minimum wage, among the highest in the nation at $9.60, comes up short of that $12.12 statewide living wage estimate. (The state’s minimum wage is set to ratchet up to $10.10 in 2017 under 2014 legislation that made the state the first to pass a minimum wage that high.)

A living wage necessarily depends on life circumstances, such as household makeup.

The Glasmeier’s Living Wage Calculator estimates that to raise one child in the state, a single person needs to earn $26.41 hourly to cover expenses; $31.19 with two children and $38.47 with three children.

On the other end of the spectrum, two adults sharing the expenses of a household, could earn less and still make ends meet: $9.53 with no children; $14.44 with one child; $16.89 with two children and $19.86 with three children.

Below is a look at each state’s current minimum wage based on data compiled by the Washington Center for Equitable Growth. Click or tap a state to view a chart showing the state’s minimum wage since 1974 in inflation-adjusted 2016 dollars.

What do you think?

  • Jennifer Nelson

    What does this living wage support? Does it assume disability, if it’s present? Who defines want vs need? The minimum wage comes up woefully short if any hiccup falls into a life.