Family of four needs to earn $62K annually to meet basic needs
Posted: Thursday, Oct 18, 2007 - 11:37:32 am CDT
By GWEN ALBERS
BONNERS FERRY -- A recent study shows that two working adults with two children need to make $62,529 annually to meet the family's basic needs in Boundary County.
It's a number that surprises resident Aaron Stuber, who with his wife, Julia, has five children ranging from 7 weeks to 8 years old.
"We don't make nowhere near $62,000," said Stuber, the assistant manager at Bonners Ferry's Subway, which his wife manages.
"Our kids are fed, our kids are clothed and we own a home," Aaron Stuber said. "We struggle, but I think everyone struggles a little."
The study released last week by Northwest Federation of Community Organizations ranked Boundary County as the ninth most expensive county to live in Idaho. There are 44 counties.
"The cost of living has increased over the last five years," said Gerald Smith, a research associate with the agency that networks with four grassroots organizations in an attempt to advance regional and national campaigns for economic, racial and social equity.
Living wages were calculated on the basis of family budgets for several household types -- such as a single person or a two-parent family with children -- and included basic necessities like food, housing, utilities, transportation and more.
The study showed that to meet basic needs:
* A single adult without children needs to make $10.74 an hour or $22,344 annually.
* A single adult with one child needs to make $18.76 an hour or $39,024 annually.
* A single adult with two children needs to make $23.47 an hour or $48,827 annually.
* A household with one working adult and two children needs to make $21.54 an hour or $44,798 annually.
* A household with two working adults and two children needs to make combined wages of $30.06 an hour or $62,529 a year.
The study also reported 33 percent of all job openings available statewide pay less than what is considered a living wage.
"Looking at available living-wage jobs, there's a very low percentage," Smith said. "If you are a single adult that maybe has two children, and you're looking for a living-wage job, only 33 percent will pay a wage that supports you."
There will be 12 job-seekers for every job.
"So the competition is fierce," he said.
When money is short, people tend to give up what they feel is least necessary, Smith said. Often it's health care.
"It's the first thing people give up, which leaves them at risk and leaves people vulnerable," he said.
The study also pointed out that Idaho's wages have grown faster than any other state in the Northwest with a 10.86 percent increase from 2002 to 2006. The problem, the study concluded, is that the cost of living and the cost of health care have risen faster.
The cost of living in Idaho has grown 23.45 percent in the same time period and health care costs have grown 35.81 percent.
The study also reported that the increased health care costs are being passed on to the employee. From 2000 to 2004, the average employee contribution to company-provided health insurance increased by about 143 percent and the average out-of-pocket costs for deductibles, co-payments and co-insurance rose 115 percent in the same time period.
the article above is from our local paper and below is my feed back or my opinion
There a few people I talk to about this article and I personal know one who gets up everyday and go to work for a living.
Murphy is a seasonal worker and I only work part time and if we both worked full time we would earn about $42,240 a year.
So compare to figure above we need to be earning $62,529 a year so we are short yearly by $20,289 dollars.
I can’t say I been truly short on anything and we only 1 to 3 more expensive items for the home a year. And to me that is $100 or more.
I just took a brief look what is being offered at this time at our local employment office for our county they are 30 current opening.
The highest paid is an occupational therapist and it pays $55.00 an hour.
The lowest paid job is $5.85 and that is a sandwich maker.
I guess I would say the average wage right now per hour is $9.61 an hour.
The last time I went to town gas here was $3.19 a gallon for regular and the fancier gas is about dime more.
Here a new home listed: H14 - BEAUTIFUL BRAND `NEW` HOME
on approx. 1.25 Acres. 3 Bdr 2 Ba with open floor plan, lg. Nat. Gas Fireplace for back up heat and comfort. Lg master Bdr w/walk-in closet, jetted corner tub and door to deck. Large lot with privacy. Quality construction with attention to detail. - $290,000 (Available)
You can look our oldest real estate agent here Shelman realty and for more county information please click here
I don’t want to point my finger at one problem here in our local area. But when someone list there home or try to sale an item they’re looking for the California money.
Here one for record I buy goat milk at $5.00 a gallon and I was told that one lady want to sell here goat milk at $25.00 a gallon