Living wage  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

In public policy, a living wage is the minimum hourly income necessary for a worker to meet basic needs (for an extended period of time or for a lifetime). These needs include shelter (housing) and other incidentals such as clothing and nutrition. In developed nations such as the United Kingdom and Switzerland, this standard generally means that a person working forty hours a week, with no additional income, should be able to afford a specified quality or quantity of housing, food, utilities, transport, health care, and recreation.

The living wage differs from the minimum wage in that the latter is set by law and may fail to meet the requirements of a living wage. It differs somewhat from basic needs in that the basic needs model usually measures a minimum level of consumption, without regard for the source of the income. A related concept is that of a family wage – one sufficient to not only live on oneself, but also to raise a family, though these notions may be conflated.


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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Living wage" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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