To Live on Minimum Wage, You Must Work a Ton of Hours

What's Hot

How to Cut the Cable TV Cord in 2017Family

8 Major Freebies and Discounts You Get With Amazon PrimeSave

8 Creative Ways to Clear ClutterAround The House

Study: People Who Curse Are More HonestFamily

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

Pay $2 and Get Unlimited Wendy’s Frosty Treats in 2017Family

Protecting Trump Will Cost Taxpayers $35 MillionFamily

The 3 Golden Rules of Lending to Friends and FamilyBorrow

6 Reasons Why Savers Are Sexier Than SpendersCredit & Debt

Resolutions 2017: Save More Money Using 5 Simple TricksCredit & Debt

Porta-Potties for Presidential Inauguration Cause a StinkFamily

Tax Hacks 2017: Don’t Miss These 16 Often-Overlooked Tax BreaksTaxes

5 New Year’s Resolutions That Will Pay Off 10 Years From NowCollege

A nonprofit says a minimum-wage worker has to log a lot of hours to make what's considered a living wage in the U.S. Find out just how many hours it takes.

Just over 93 hours per week: That’s how long the average American earning minimum wage would have to work to make what’s considered a living wage, according to one nonprofit organization.

The Alliance for a Just Society defines a living wage as “one that allows families to meet their basic needs, without public assistance, and that provides them some ability to deal with emergencies and plan ahead.”

That amounts to $16.87 per hour for the average single adult — more than twice the current national minimum wage of $7.25 — according to the alliance’s latest report, released Tuesday.

To bridge that gap, the alliance favors a minimum wage of more than $15 per hour. It also supports unionization “to ensure that all workers have access to benefits and protections in the workplace,” the report states.

Allyson Fredericksen, report author and policy analyst at the Alliance for a Just Society, states in a news release from the organization:

“The answer to low wages is not expecting people to work a ridiculous number of hours, or to make severe cutbacks in basic necessities. Instead, the answer is to pay workers enough to ensure that full-time employment provides some measure of financial stability. Our research shows that’s twice the current minimum wage in many states.”

In Hawaii, which ranked last in the alliance’s analysis of all 50 states, and Washington, D.C., a person would have to earn $21.44 per hour — or work more than 110 hours per week at minimum wage — to make a living wage.

In Arkansas, which ranked first, a person would have to earn $14.26 per hour, or work 76.1 hours per week at minimum wage.

A living wage is harder for parents to come by than single people. The report states:

“Nowhere in the country can a family with two children and two parents (who are both working) make ends meet if each working parent is paid less [than] $17.85 per hour.”

Are you surprised by this math? Do you agree it’s this difficult to earn a living wage? Sound off in our Forums. It’s the place where you can speak your mind, explore topics in-depth, and post questions and get answers.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: What It Really Takes Just to Get by in America

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,788 more deals!