Do you make the living wage in north central WV?

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CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has created a tool that calculates how much you need to make to comfortably live.

The tool calculates the living wage — the hourly rate that an individual in a household must earn to support his or herself and their family — for each county and metropolitan area based on the number of children and incomes that are in each household. According to the calculator, the minimum wage for West Virginia does not fulfill a living wage in any of the 55 counties, regardless of home size.

The living wage was calculated to be about $12-15 for single people living in most places in West Virginia. The living wage is drastically increased for parents but especially for single parents, about $8-15 extra per child compared to the two adult homes in which the living wage was between $2-5 more per child.

The following table shows the living wage for single parents in north central West Virginia compared to nonparents.

CountyNon-ParentsOne ChildTwo ChildrenThree Children
Barbour$13.25$27.60$35.21$44.79
Doddridge$13.01$27.48$34.80$45.09
Gilmer$13.14$26.41$32.80$41.21
Harrison$13.73$29.94$38.34$49.30
Lewis$13.40$27.92$35.53$45.19
Marion$13.68$29.23$36.68$46.72
Monongalia$14.61$30.69$39.09$50.83
Preston$14.61$29.73$37.18$47.97
Randolph$13.06$27.47$34.80$44.13
Ritchie$13.29$27.32$34.65$44.32
Taylor$12.92$27.92$35.73$45.79
Tucker$13.29$27.32$34.65$43.95
Upshur$13.36$27.66$34.98$44.47
Webster$12.61$26.74$33.14$41.59
MIT Living Wage Calculator results for single people and parents in north central West Virginia

The minimum wage in West Virginia is currently $8.75 and is the same for everyone, regardless of how many dependents someone supports. According to the calculator, the state minimum wage does not fulfill the living wage for homes with two working adults and no children, which is between $11-12.

Living wages for homes with two adults living on one income in north central West Virginia are given below:

CountyNon-ParentsOne ChildTwo ChildrenThree Children
Barbour$22.24$25.86$29.87$31.23
Doddridge$22.01$26.01$30.03$32.37
Gilmer$22.14$25.86$29.87$31.26
Harrison$22.74$26.69$30.71$32.29
Lewis$22.40$26.17$30.19$31.62
Marion$31.62$26.93$30.95$32.57
Monongalia$23.64$27.43$31.45$33.83
Preston$23.64$27.43$31.45$33.83
Randolph$22.57$26.00$30.02$31.41
Ritchie$22.41$25.86$29.87$31.60
Taylor$22.36$25.99$30.00$31.65
Tucker$22.45$25.86$29.87$31.23
Upshur$22.37$26.19$30.21$31.75
Webster$22.13$26.19$30.21$31.64
MIT Living Wage Calculator results for two-adult homes living on one income in north central West Virginia

Even though the two-adult homes living wages increase less per child than the single parent or guardian homes, traditional families with more than one child who are living on only one minimum wage income fall not only below the living wage but also below the poverty wage. In fact, the wage for a traditional, one-income family with three children would have to be almost $15 to stay over the poverty line.

Even though families with two working adults need the lowest wages to maintain a living wage according to MIT’s standard, a family with three children would need both adults’ wages to be almost $20 in most counties to maintain a living wage.

To see all the wage calculations in West Virginia and the U.S., click here.

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