How much money do you really need to make to survive?

A few months ago the Wider Opportunities for Women partnership came out with an intriguing look at how much money families really need to earn to support themselves. It was national, and I thought the lede to the New York Times story about it said it all: “Hard as it can be to land a job these days, getting one may not be nearly enough for basic economic security.”

The DC-based advocacy group has used public data for their report, and they’ve started parsing out the information locally. Today, they released data for Michigan. Here are the results:

A single worker in Michigan must make at least $12.24/hour, almost $26,000 a year, to be “economically secure”. That assumes the $12 an hour worker also has access to benefits. A single parent with a two kids must make at least $24.49 an hour, or almost $52,000 – again – with benefits – and for a family of two working full-time, that goes to $62,000.

According to the state of Michigan labor site, the state average wage is $20.64, or $42,930 a year. Raises some interesting questions about how folks are surviving, and what kinds of jobs need to be created throughout Michigan to support working families. Thoughts?

p.s. Here’s a Detroit Free Press article, which wins for the “no-duh” headline of the day that says: “New Study: You can’t live on minimum wage”. The WOW folks tell me Illinois data should be out shortly. We’ll report it from here.

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