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The 10 best cities for minimum-wage workers

Caiaimage/Paul Bradbury | Caiaimage | Getty Images

A slew of recent legislation at the state and municipal levels has pushed the minimum wage in some places far above the $7.25 standard set by the federal government.

More than half of all U.S. states require employers pay their staff hourly wages greater than $7.25 and in some cities, like San Francisco and New York, the minimum wage hit $15. That's more than double the federal rate, which has not been increased since 2009.

These legislative efforts are meant to ease the financial burden on lower-income workers, whose salaries have stagnated, despite inflation and cost-of-living increases. Pew Research Center found that these workers have lost almost 10% of their purchasing power in the last decade.

But those regional minimum wage adjustments do seem to be helping.

CNBC Make It collected data on the minimum wage in the 75 largest U.S. cities, by population, and paired that with Economic Policy Institute's research into the cost of living in each of those areas to to find out where workers without children will have the easiest time afford rent, utilities, food, transportation, healthcare, taxes and other basic necessities.

Every city that made the top of the list paid workers at minimum $11 an hour. But in not one of the 75 cities CNBC Make It examined did the minimum wage, even if set at $15 an hour, allow a person to earn enough money to afford a modest, yet adequate standard of living while working a typical 40-hour full-time work week. In every city, overtime would be necessary to meet the total monthly costs EPI estimates a worker incurs.

Below are the 10 cities that are easiest to live in for minimum-wage earners, as well as how many hours of work would be required to afford typical monthly expenses in those places, and, while the following cities may be among the best in the U.S. for minimum-wage workers, they still fall short of providing a truly livable income.

10. Chicago, Illinois

Photo Taken In United States, Chicago
Zouhair Lhaloui / EyeEm | EyeEm | Getty Images

Hourly minimum wage: $12
Hours you'd need to work each week to afford adequate standard of living: 67
Total monthly costs: $3,217
-Housing: $879
-Transportation: $720
-Taxes: $560

9. Sacramento, California

Sacramento Capital Building in Sacramento, California.
Janet Kopper | Moment | Getty Images

Hourly minimum wage: $12*
Hours you'd need to work each week to afford adequate standard of living: 66.5
Total monthly costs: $3,194
-Housing: $757
-Transportation: $844
-Taxes: $529

*California's state law regarding minimum wage requires that employers with 26 employees or more pay their workers $12 an hour. Employers with 25 employees or less can pay workers a minimum of $11 an hour.

8. Colorado Springs, Colorado

Tejon Street, Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Richard Cummins | Getty Images

Hourly minimum wage: $11.10
Hours you'd need to work each week to afford adequate standard of living: 64.8
Total monthly costs: $2,878
-Housing: $651
-Transportation: $798
-Taxes: $482

7. Riverside, California

The skyline of Riverside, California.
Eric Lowenbach | Moment Open | Getty Images

Hourly minimum wage: $12*
Hours you'd need to work each week to afford adequate standard of living: 64.2
Total monthly costs: $3,080
-Housing: $736
-Transportation: $871
-Taxes: $499

*California's state law regarding minimum wage requires that employers with 26 employees or more pay their workers $12 an hour. Employers with 25 employees or less can pay workers a minimum of $11 an hour.

6. Bakersfield, California

Lake Ming is a man-made recreational lake located in Bakersfield, California.
LPETTET | E+ | Getty Images

Hourly minimum wage: $12*
Hours you'd need to work each week to afford adequate standard of living: 62.9
Total monthly costs: $3,019
-Housing: $672
-Transportation: $927
-Taxes: $485

*California's state law regarding minimum wage requires that employers with 26 employees or more pay their workers $12 an hour. Employers with 25 employees or less can pay workers a minimum of $11 an hour.

5. Fresno, California

Fresno, California
DenisTangneyJr | E+ | Getty Images

Hourly minimum wage: $12*
Hours you'd need to work each week to afford adequate standard of living: 62.8
Total monthly costs: $3,014
-Housing: $697
-Transportation: $888
-Taxes: $484

*California's state law regarding minimum wage requires that employers with 26 employees or more pay their workers $12 an hour. Employers with 25 employees or less can pay workers a minimum of $11 an hour.

4. Tucson, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona
Getty Images

Hourly minimum wage: $11
Hours you'd need to work each week to afford adequate standard of living: 62.8
Total monthly costs: $2,762
-Housing: $545
-Transportation: $791
-Taxes: $438

3. Stockton, California

Denis Jr. Tangney | E+ | Getty Images

Hourly minimum wage: $12*
Hours you'd need to work each week to afford adequate standard of living: 60.7
Total monthly costs: $2,915
-Housing: $631
-Transportation: $887
-Taxes: $461

*California's state law regarding minimum wage requires that employers with 26 employees or more pay their workers $12 an hour. Employers with 25 employees or less can pay workers a minimum of $11 an hour.

2. Seattle, Washington

Matteo Colombo | DigitalVision | Getty Images

Hourly minimum wage: $15
Hours you'd need to work each week to afford adequate standard of living: 60.5
Total monthly costs: $3,630
-Housing: $1,108
-Transportation: $825
-Taxes: $555

*Seattle's law regarding minimum wage requires that employers with 500 employees or fewer pay their workers $15 an hour, if they are not receiving medical benefits or tips. Employers with more than 500 employees must pay workers a minimum of $16 an hour.

1. Austin, Texas

"Greetings from Austin" street art mural.
Magalie L'AbbT | Getty Images

Hourly minimum wage: $15
Hours you'd need to work each week to afford adequate standard of living: 53.2
Total monthly costs: $3,197
-Housing: $860
-Transportation: $841
-Taxes: $474

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