Thursday, April 7, 2016

Large Cost Of Living Differences Within States Complicates Value Of Minimum Wage

From Pew Research Center, "Cost-of-living disparities within states complicate minimum-wage debate" by Drew DeSilver:
One factor complicating the minimum-wage discussion is that the cost of living varies widely – not just from state to state but within individual states, something that’s especially true in large, diverse states such as California and New York. The real value of $15 (that is, its purchasing power) very much depends on where you live: A wage that might be barely adequate in a big city could be well above the norm in a rural small town.

The price level in metropolitan Chicago, while only 6.6% above the national average, is 34.6% above the price level in Danville, a small city about 140 miles to the south that is the second-cheapest place to live in the nation.

Not far behind Illinois are California and New York, where the most-expensive metro areas are 33.2% and 31.9% higher, respectively, than the least-expensive places. The states with the smallest gaps, such as Idaho, Wyoming and Vermont, tend to be largely rural places with few (or no) big cities.

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