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.