Income >> Living Wage >> Trend by Household Composition

Increases in the income needed for a living wage continue to outpace real wage gains.

A living wage is the income required – working full-time and year-round without public assistance – to meet basic needs and have some ability to deal with emergencies and plan ahead. “It is not a poverty wage.” (Low Wage Nation, 2015)

From 2006 to 2014, the living wage for King County increased …

  • 41% for a single employed adult.
  • 28% for a single employed adult with 1 child.
  • 28% for a single employed adult with 2 children.
  • 35% for 2 adults (1 employed) with 2 children.
  • 32% for 2 employed adults with 2 children.

In part because of the cost of child care, a single parent with a toddler and a school-age child must earn more than the employed parent in a 2-adult household in which 1 adult is employed and the other cares for the children.