The Biden administration is likely celebrating a better-than-expected jobs report that showed surging employment and wages. However, for millions of working Americans, being employed does not guarantee a living income.
As scholars interested in the well-being of workers, we believe that the economy runs better when people are not forced to choose between paying rent, buying food or getting medicine. Yet too many are compelled to do just that.
Determining just how many workers struggle to make ends meet is a complicated task. A worker’s minimum survival budget can vary considerably based on where the person lives and how many people are in the family.
Cost of living
Take Rochester, New York. It has a cost of living that is closest to the national average across 509 US metropolitan areas, according to the City Cost of Living Index compiled by the research firm AdvisorSmith.