11 The living wage, Fight for $15, and low-wage worker campaigns in the US

Stephanie Luce


The term ‘living wage’ has been around for more than a hundred years and has regained popularity and importance in countries around the world as inequality and working poverty have risen. A ‘living wage’ in the broad sense is a wage high enough for a worker to support themselves and a family to have a decent life.

Yet in practice, there are many variations in how the term is used and applied by country and campaign. In the US, some use the term ‘living wage’ in connection to hourly wages set through a formula based on assumptions about geography and family size and type (Luce 2017). In many parts of the country the ‘living wage’ for a worker ...

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