Calculating a living wage across the United States

BY News Desk  December 15, 2013 at 7:03 PM EDT

Workers chant outside a McDonald’s restaurant in Harlem in April, 2013. Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images

In “Life in the cash economy for ‘underbanked’ Americans” and “One NYC family’s struggle to survive on a fast food salary,” PBS NewsHour looks at the ways working families are trying to make ends meet in today’s economic climate.

The graphic above draws information from Living Wage Project’s calculator, recently highlighted by NewsHour’s Paul Solman.

The project tracked what hourly rate an individual needs to make to support themselves or a family — drawing on local prices for food, child care, medical costs, housing, and transportation.

In Omaha a single person needs $8.70 an hour to make ends meet; a family of four requires $18.46.

Minimum cost of housing for a single person in Miami runs about $878 or $1,206 for a family, but in Manhattan those numbers are $1,129 and $1,359, respectively.

If you don’t see your city listed above — check out the calculator — it covers the entire nation.

And watch our latest report:

Nearly 20% of low income US households are “underbanked,” according to the FDIC. But is providing access to traditional, mainstream financial services the best solution for everyone?