How Much Is A Living Wage?

Inside the movement to boost minimum pay: It may ease poverty, but does it also cause job cutbacks?

Jerome Gibbons works about 60 hours a week, just as he did five years ago--but with one difference. In 1997 Gibbons held two demanding jobs--as a wheelchair attendant at Los Angeles International Airport and a security guard in an office tower. He still works 40 hours a week at the airport, but thanks to the city's five-year-old "living wage" ordinance, which raised the minimum wage for firms that contract with the city, his hourly pay has jumped from $5.75 to $9.54. He has been able to drop his second job and now studies at a local college for what he hopes...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!