Learn About Living Wage

What is a living wage?

How is it estimated?

Why is it so important?

What is a Living Wage?

A living wage is “the remuneration received for a standard workweek by a worker in a particular place sufficient to afford a decent standard of living for the worker and her or his family. Elements of a decent standard of living include food, water, housing, education, health care, transportation, clothing, and other essential needs including provision for unexpected events.”

Global Living Wage Coalition

How are living wages for Living Wage On-Up estimated?

We are partnering with Amy Glasmeier of MIT, and her Living Wage Calculator, to determine living wage estimates that are fit for certification. These estimates will be based on the costs of a decent standard of living for a family. They will be geographically specific and aggregated in a manner that is practical for use by regional and national employers. They will be determined and applied objectively, transparently, and consistently, with all figures widely published. 

Living wage is not a new concept. It is a needed value that has been discussed for ages. These quotes give a sense of the history of living wage.

  • No person, I think, ever saw a herd of buffalo, of which a few were fat and the great majority lean. No person ever saw a flock of birds, of which two or three were swimming in grease, and the others all skin and bone.

    HENRY GEORGE AMERICAN POLITICAL ECONOMIST (1839-1897)
  • The greatest country, the richest country, is not that which has the most capitalists, monopolists, immense grabbings, vast fortunes, with its sad, sad soil of extreme, degrading, damning poverty, but the land in which there are the most homesteads, freeholds — where wealth does not show such contrasts high and low, where all men have enough — a modest living— and no man is made possessor beyond the sane and beautiful necessities.

    WALT WHITMAN AMERICAN POET (1819-1892)
  • An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics.

    PLUTARCH ANCIENT GREEK BIOGRAPHER (C. 46 – 120 CE)
  • The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.

    FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT AMERICAN PRESIDENT (1882-1945), SECOND INAUGURAL ADDRESS, 1937