Financial Stability
Living Wage Rate, 2017

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Living Wage Rate, 2017

What does this measure?

The level of income needed for households of different sizes and types in a region to be able to pay for necessities including housing and food without outside assistance.

Why is this important?

The level of income needed to afford basic expenses often exceeds the minimum wage, forcing the working poor to work multiple jobs or seek public assistance to make ends meet. Understanding the true level of income required to cover housing, food, clothing, child care, transportation and medical expenses provides a more accurate benchmark for assessing the jobs available in a region or local area. The living wage also adjusts for regional variation in costs.

How is the region performing?

In 2017, a living wage for two working parents with two children in the Mid-Hudson Valley would be $20.68, representing an annual income of about $86,000. This was slightly higher than the state's living wage (excluding NYC) of $19.91. Within the region, the living wage would be substantially higher for a two-parent, two-child household in which only one parent works, at $27.53, and for a single working parent with two children, at $38.08. For two adults with no children, the living wage is far lower, at $10.41. These wages also were a bit higher than those at the state level (outside NYC).

The required living wage for all household types in the region increased since 2015. The rise was most pronounced for two working parents with two children (12%) and single parents of two children (12%).

Likely reflecting differences in the cost of living throughout the region, the estimated living wage for two working parents with two children was lowest in Greene ($19.89), Columbia ($19.95) and Sullivan counties ($19.96), and highest in Putnam ($22.29). The living wage was the same in Dutchess and Orange counties, at $21.04.

Notes about the data

Figures are in 2017 dollars and assume a 40-hour work week. The living wage model is an alternative measure of basic needs. It is a market-based approach that draws upon geographically specific expenditure data related to a family's likely minimum food, child care, health insurance, housing, transportation, and other basic necessities (e.g. clothing, personal care items, etc.) costs. More information on the sources of data for costs is available at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Living Wage Rate, 2017
1 earning adult, 2 children2 adults (1 earning), 2 children2 earning adults2 earning adults, 2 children
Region$38.08$27.53$10.41$20.68
Columbia County$36.62$26.07$9.67$19.95
Dutchess County$38.79$28.24$10.64$21.04
Greene County$36.49$25.94$9.87$19.89
Orange County$38.79$28.24$10.64$21.04
Putnam County$41.30$30.75$11.99$22.29
Sullivan County$36.63$26.08$9.86$19.96
Ulster County$37.91$27.37$10.24$20.60
NYS (excluding NYC)$36.54$25.99$9.76$19.91

Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Notes: Figures are in constant 2017 dollars.




Annual Income, 2017
1 earning adult, 2 children2 adults (1 earning), 2 children2 earning adults2 earning adults, 2 children
Region$79,198$57,259$43,323$86,026
Columbia County$76,171$54,229$40,226$82,990
Dutchess County$80,688$58,747$44,270$87,507
Greene County$75,891$53,950$41,043$82,732
Orange County$80,688$58,747$44,270$87,507
Putnam County$85,894$63,952$49,863$92,713
Sullivan County$76,192$54,251$41,000$83,033
Ulster County$78,860$56,940$42,592$85,700
NYS (excluding NYC)$75,999$54,060$40,582$82,816

Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Notes: Figures are in constant 2017 dollars and assume working 40 hours each week.




INDICATORS TREND | STATE
Children Living in Poverty Increasing
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Decreasing
Single-Parent Families Increasing
Single-Parent Families, by Race/Ethnicity Decreasing
Rate of Child Abuse and Neglect Increasing
Rate of Foster Care Admissions Maintaining
Teen Pregnancy Decreasing
Live Births to Teen Mothers Decreasing
Juvenile Delinquency Intakes Decreasing
Bullying at School Decreasing
Average Charitable Giving Increasing
Voter Registration Rate Maintaining
Voter Participation Rate Increasing
Total Population Increasing
Population by Age Decreasing
Population by Race/Ethnicity Increasing
Household Types Increasing
Change in Total Jobs Increasing
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Employment by Sector Not Applicable
Spending for County Government Increasing
Tourism Revenue Increasing
Preschoolers Receiving Special Education Services Increasing
Prekindergarten Participation Increasing
Students Receiving Special Education Services Increasing
Per-Student Spending Increasing
Student Performance on Grade 4 English, by Student Group Increasing
Student Performance on Grade 4 English, by Race/Ethnicity Increasing
Student Performance on Grade 4 Math, by Student Group Increasing
Student Performance on Grade 4 Math, by Race/Ethnicity Increasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate Increasing
High School Cohort Dropout Rate Decreasing
High School GED Rate Decreasing
Plans of High School Graduates Increasing
Education Levels of Adults Increasing
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Increasing
Median Household Income Decreasing
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity Decreasing
People Living in Poverty Increasing
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Increasing
Seniors Living in Poverty Decreasing
Children Receiving Subsidized Child Care Maintaining
Veterans Living in Poverty Maintaining
Economically Disadvantaged Students Increasing
Earned Income Tax Credit Participation Maintaining
Living Wage Rate by Household Type Increasing
Income in Relation to Poverty Level Maintaining
People Without Health Insurance Decreasing
Early Prenatal Care, by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Domestic Violence Increasing
Deaths from Drug Overdoses Increasing
Babies with Low Birth Weights Maintaining
People Living wth HIV Decreasing
Mental Health Clinic Visits Decreasing
Homeownership Rates Maintaining
Homeless Persons Decreasing
Housing Affordability for Homeowners Maintaining
Housing Affordability for Renters Increasing
Violent Crimes Decreasing


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