Bringing together data from open, public data sources, Open Data Nation, identified and evaluated data to inform both private sector activity and answer a meaningful economic policy question – Are low-wage workers earning enough to get by?
According to our analysis, the minimum wage in 2014 was not enough to cover many American families’ most basic needs. A living wage, or wage necessary to reach self-sufficiency, remains out of reach for more than 19.1 million families, or one-third of families (37.6%).
The results of our analysis and written findings were published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Living Wage Calculator, a tool that reports the living wage for many different family types living in counties and metropolitan areas around the United States.
Compelled by the positive effects of raising wages once already earlier this year, the housewares and furniture retailer Ikea, decided to use this living wage to set wages in all of their 38 retail stores in the U.S.
As a result of our work, low-wage earners at Ikea will get a pay hike of over 10% this coming year. And Ikea has already projected efficiencies in their operations that will come from lower turnover and reduced costs of hiring and training new employees.
Image credit: Samantha Marx