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Working your way out of poverty

I have subscribed to get random statistics in my inbox every day and today was a (German language) chart about how many hours a single parent with two children will have to work per week to get above the poverty line - here defined as 50% of the country’s median income. Unfortunately, the English language version is a bit older, but numbers haven’t changed much or in some cases not at all. Great Britain changed the most from 26 hours per week down to 16 with the introduction of the new, adjustable minimum wage currently at £6.50 (US-$ 10.19) per hour and set to increase to 60% of median income until 2020.

Illustration for article titled Working your way out of poverty

You will find more statistics at Statista

Some of the numbers have changed in between 2013 and 2015 - e.g. Germany has finally introduced a minimum wage at the start of this year. It’s now set at EUR 8.50 per hour (around US-$ 9.40 at the current exchange rate) - before there were groups of jobs/trades making below that even after gaining qualification.
It also shows that in the US with the current minimum wages, it’s impossible to get above the poverty line without working either two to three jobs and/or working massive overtime each week.


I’m also very intrigued by the 8 hours necessary in Ireland. Because minimum wage is comparable to Germany at EUR 8.65 (US-$ 9.55) per hour which can only mean that either the tax rates are very low or the median income has suffered a lot in the 2008 downturn.

These are my random thoughts of the day.

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