03/18/2013 06:34 pm ET Updated Mar 19, 2013

$9 Minimum Wage Would Fall Far Short Of Living Wage In New York: Analysis

New York is reportedly close to raising the state minimum wage to $9 per hour by 2016: the same minimum wage that President Barack Obama proposed introducing at the national level. But that wage would fall far short of a living wage in New York, according to one analysis.

While $9 per hour is substantially higher than New York's current minimum wage of $7.25 -- which is the lowest the minimum wage can be in the U.S. -- it doesn't constitute a living wage for any type of New Yorker, including New Yorkers living alone, according to the Living Wage Calculator. A single parent with one child, working full-time in the state of New York, would need to make $23.58 per hour to get by. And a single parent with three children would need to make $40.74 per hour.

Of course in Manhattan, where the cost of living is more than twice the national average, the living wage is even higher.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 113,000 New York workers were paid the minimum wage in 2012.

A minimum wage of $9 per hour is significantly lower than what workers really should be making, according to one study. The minimum wage should have reached $21.72 per hour in 2012 if it kept up with increases in worker productivity, a 2012 study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research found.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) cited this finding in a Senate hearing last week.

Correction: A previous version of this post incorrectly attributed the Living Wage Calculator only to MIT graduate Eric Schultheis. MIT professor Amy Glasmeier also played a key role in its development.



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