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Do You Earn a Living Wage?

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Debate over the minimum wage is all the rage at the moment at both the federal and state levels. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has made raising Illinois' minimum wage from $8.25 an hour to $10 a major plank in his reelection campaign platform.

President Barack Obama advocates doing the same at the federal level, which now has a $7.25 minimum wage.

The tug-of-war on this issue is intense. While the Congressional Budget Office issued a report saying raising the federal minimum wage would hurt job creation, proponents say it's a necessary step to ensuring that all full-time workers can make a "living wage."

But as the graphic illustrates, "living wage" is a highly relative term. Specifically, it's relative to where you live. This interactive map breaks it down to the county level in each state. Note the difference in what constitutes a living wage in, for example, Massac County in far southern Illinois and Cook County.

Posted with permission from accountingschoolguide.com.

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  1. Gov. Pat Quinn advocates for increasing the minimum wage in this interview with Chicago Sun-Times political writer Natasha Korecki. 
  2. Here's the Congressional Budget Office report that says raising the federal minimum wage could slow job creation.
  3. The minimum wage and other issues could help drive Democratic voter turnout in November. 

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