Chart Detail

Updated August 27, 2012

Documentation and methodology

Figure is based on analysis of Current Population Survey (CPS) wage data described in Appendix B. The poverty-level wage is calculated using an estimate of the four-person weighted average poverty threshold in 2011 of $23,010 (based on the 2010 threshold updated for inflation). This is divided by 2,080 hours to obtain a poverty-level wage of $11.06 in 2011. The poverty-level wage is roughly equal to two-thirds of the median hourly wage. This figure is deflated by CPI-U-RS (Consumer Price Index Research Series Using Current Methods) to obtain the poverty-level wage levels for other years. The threshold is available at the U.S. Census Bureau website.


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