Many Northwesterners struggle mightily to make a decent living
To live a decent life in Washington, it costs a single adult $10.77 an hour. Yet one-third of all job openings pay less than that, according to a study conducted by a Seattle organization.
"Searching for Work That Pays: The 2005 Northwest Job Gap Study" determined that the "Northwest is not creating living-wage jobs for all those who need them." When families cannot earn what they need to survive, the study notes, "many are forced to make difficult choices between adequate health care, balanced nutrition and paying the bills."
The study was prepared by the Northwest Federation of Community Organizations, a regional federation of four statewide, community-based social and economic organizations. It encompassed Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana. Of the four states, Oregon and Washington had the highest living-wage requirement to pay for day-to-day needs.