Living on the Minimum Wage

Last week the New York Times published a nice interactive about the minimum wage and just how difficult it is to live on it. (We will for now spare the charts that show how the actual purchasing power has declined over the years.) First you pick your state because not every state pays the same minimum wage. Then as you begin to enter figures for your expenses, or a hypothetical person as in this screenshot, you find how quickly a minimum wage earner runs out of money. And then how much debt they owe and how much more they have to work to pay it off.

A fictional person in Pennsylvania
A fictional person in Pennsylvania

Credit for the piece goes to Jeremy Ashkenas.

Author: Brendan Barry

I am a graphic designer who focuses on information design. My day job? I am the data visualisation manager for the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. (This blog is my something I do on my own time and does not represent the views of the Fed, blah blah blah legal stuff.) And with my main interest in information design—be it in the shape of clear charts, maps, diagrams, or wayfinding systems—I am fortunate that my day job focuses on data visualisation. Outside of work, I try to stay busy with personal design work. Away from the world of design, I enjoy cooking and reading and am interested in various subjects from history and geography to politics to science to the arts. And I allow all of them to influence my work.

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