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What a living wage means in the Bay area | News

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What a living wage means in the Bay area

St. Petersburg, Florida -- President Barack Obama is proposing boosting the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 per hour and tying the wage to inflation. That would be the highest minimum wage in three decades but still lower than in the 1960's and 1970s.

SEE ALSO: Five keys moments on Obama's State of the Union

Here's how it breaks down for the 15 million Americans with the lowest paying jobs.

Right now, at $7.25 an hour, a full-time employee makes $15,080 a year. The minimum wage boost equals about $3,000 more bucks. According to the National Employment Law Project, the current minimum wage is not enough to afford a two-bedroom apartment.

Here in Florida, the minimum wage is $7.79. The employees who make most of their money on tips like waiters, parking attendants, and manicurists make $2.13 an hour.

According to the Living Wage Calculator, people here in the Bay area have to make $9.63 in both Pinellas and Hillsborough in order to survive. A single mom with one child would need to make almost twice that at $20.11. That's more than both the current and proposed minimum wages.

Supporters say boosting the minimum wage would give families more money to eat healthier, make rent, and an opportunity to get ahead. While critics say it's not a solution to poverty.


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