minimum wage

City Living, infographic, Policy

Grocery store

Produce Department via photopin (license)

Today, the Daily News reports that increasing the minimum wage to $15/hour would add $10 billion annually to city paychecks and increase earnings for almost 1.5 million people, according to an analysis by City Comptroller Scott Stringer. Says the paper, “The typical family getting the boost would spend $1,100 to $1,800 more a year on housing, and up to $600 on groceries, $400 on entertainment, and $300 eating out, Stringer predicted.”

How would this increase in spending compare to a given family’s financial patterns before the minimum wage hike? The Washington Post has used newly released data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to analyze where the poor and rich spend really spend their money. Looking at four categories (housing, transportation, food, and pensions/life insurance) and three classes (low, middle, and high), the results are mainly as to be expected. The rich spend more all around, but as a percentage of their total income, they spend less; the middle class spends the most on transportation; and basically all Americans have similar spending patterns when it comes to groceries. But the big difference between the upper and lower classes is saving. “For every dollar they spend at the grocery store, the poorest households save 12 cents, while the wealthy sock away $3.07 in pensions and life insurance.”

What does this mean? See the infographics here

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