For minimum wage employees, the data may not be a surprise, but it remains a stark finding.
A new Economic Policy Institute report finds that, no matter where they live in the United States, minimum wage workers earn far less than they need to make ends meet. (Tweet This)
Compiling data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Highway Administration, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and several other sources, the nonpartisan think tank found that the average cost of living in the U.S., excluding discretionary spending, is more than $65,000 a year for a family with two adults and two children. That's roughly $50,000 more than what a minimum-wage worker earns. The EPI also looked at the cost of living for single adults and found similar disparities.
And the gap is even wider in some high-cost cities. A household with two adults and two children in Washington, D.C., for example, would need to budget more than $106,000 a year to make ends meet, researchers found. That makes it the most expensive area in the country for a family that size, without taking into account discretionary spending. (See chart below.)
The new data, which supports findings by other groups such as the National Low Income Housing Coalition and Pew Research Center, comes amid increased efforts to increase the minimum wage for workers across the country.