Report: $15 Hourly Wage Isn’t Livable Anywhere in the U.S.

The federal minimum wage has remained at $7.25 an hour for the past 12 years. Despite years of debate over a raise to $15 per hour, and a recent focus in Congress on increasing wages, even if that increase was implemented it is no longer enough to support the average American family.

A new report from USAFacts shows that single-earner households making $15 an hour would take two years working every weekday to make what the average family spends annually.

The analysis focuses on the middle 20% of income earners and compares a $15 an hour wage to the average family’s expenses such as health care, food and housing using the data compiled from the Internal Revenue Service, the Bureau of Labor and the Census Bureau from 2018, the most recent year with full data.

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Among those U.S. households, 71% rely primarily on a single earner for the family.

Although average family expenses differ from state to state, the data shows that no family relying on a single $15 hourly income could afford average annual expenses anywhere in the U.S.


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