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11 November 2008

New Report Says Georgians Can't Be Self-Sufficient On Just The Minimum Wage

A new report titled "The 2008 Self-Sufficiency Standard for Georgia" released Monday tells us what many progressive groups and activists have been saying a lot over the last few years; that the current minimum wage is not enough for a two-parent family with two kids to be self-sufficient without government assistance.

According to the report --which was supported by the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta, Voices for Georgia's Children, Women's Policy Group, Georgia Family Connection Partnership, Georgia State Trade Association of Nonprofit Developers, and Georgia Budget and Policy Institute-- a single parent with one pre-school aged child needs to be making between $20,280 and $42,086 to be self-sufficient depending on the county.

In Fulton County, for example, a single adult with no kids needs to make $8.23/hour to be self-sufficient; a single adult with a pre-school aged child needs to make $15.73/hour; and a two-parent family with two kids need to make $10.36/hour.

The current federal minimum wage is $6.55 and will be increased to $7.25 next year.

The 2008 Self-Sufficiency Standard report suggests that living wage laws might be an approach to raise the incomes of Georgia families who are struggling to make ends meet.

"This study further reveals what we in the non-profit community are seeing more and more every day. It takes a lot to be self-sufficient, especially given the rising costs of working families' necessities, such as child care and healthcare," stated Milton J. Little, Jr., president of United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta. [Source:, "Report Reveals Strains and Savings for Georgia Families", November 10, 2008]