Monday, March 24, 2014

Living Wage Calculator for Herkimer and Oneida Counties

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has developed a means for looking at what is often referred to as the "living wage" for each county in the country.Their premise is that in many American communities, families working in low-wage jobs make insufficient income to live locally given the local cost-of-living. They suggest that recently, in a number of high-cost communities, community organizers and citizens have successfully argued that the prevailing wage offered by the public sector and key businesses should reflect a wage rate required to meet minimum standards of living. As a result they developed a living wage calculator to estimate the cost of living in pretty much every community or region. The calculator lists typical expenses, the living wage and typical wages for the selected location.

The MIT Living Wage tool is designed to provide a minimum estimate of the cost of living for low wage families. The estimates do not reflect a middle class standard of living. The realism of the estimates depend on the type of community under study. Metropolitan counties are typically locations of high cost. In such cases, the calculator is likely to underestimate costs such as housing and child care. Consider the results a minimum cost threshold that serves as a benchmark, but only that. 

Click the appropriate link below to see how either Herkimer or Oneida Counties is doing when it comes to Living Wages in the eyes of MIT. These data are based on information from 2012, however MIT expects to have an updated version of the data available in about a month so check back then as well !