At Wonolo, we understand how difficult it can be to staff your business appropriately. With fluctuations in the market, seasonality, and changes in consumer tastes, there are many factors that impact who you need on your team and when you need them. That’s one of the many reasons we started Wonolo. We knew there had to be a better way to provide flexible staffing.
We work with thousands of companies in a variety of cities and industries to connect them with people looking for flexible job opportunities. That means we know what roles companies are looking to fill and the amounts they are paying in certain states. We share that data in our 2020 Payment Guide.
What’s more, we think about the importance of workers being fairly compensated for their efforts, which is why many of the opportunities on Wonolo’s platform pay at or above the living wage for a single person. In this blog post we discuss the difference between minimum wage and living wage as well as the breakdown within individual markets.
Minimum Wage vs. Living Wage
Many people are familiar with minimum wage*, but may not realize that there are myriad state and local laws governing the minimum wage employees receive. Additionally, Wonolo prefers to take into account the living wage* when we provide payment information to our customers. The living wage is an idea developed by economists at MIT — it takes into account factors like location and number of dependents when determining the amount a person would need to have a minimum standard of living.
The living wage calculation was developed by Dr. Amy Glasmeier at MIT to estimate the amount a person needs to earn to meet a minimum standard of living in their area without financial support. For example, in the New York metropolitan area, the living wage for one adult with no dependents is $16.44/hour — slightly higher than the $15/hour minimum wage in New York City, and substantially higher than the $11/hour minimum wage in New Jersey. The wage changes depending upon if somebody lives in a two-earner household and if they have dependents. This makes the living wage more dynamic than the traditional minimum wage.
The living wage can help you determine a fair baseline to offer for any work in your area as well as provide a benchmark for all of the work projects you need completed. While some companies in your area may only be offering the minimum wage, offering a living wage shows your commitment to finding the best talent for your jobs.
Payment Data by Region
Wonolo connects workers with job opportunities all over the country. Here’s a look at wages and opportunities in a few specific cities on our platform. For a full look, check out our Payment Guide.
All living wages below are for one person with no dependents.
Hourly Wage for New York
Living Wage: $15.56
Minimum Wage: $12.50 (as of December 31, 2020)
In New York, delivery jobs were the most popular type of open role that companies filled using Wonolo, accounting for 40% of the total jobs posted this past year. The average pay offered by Wonolo customers for delivery jobs in New York was $18.78/hour. This was followed closely by fulfillment/warehousing at 37% of jobs posted to Wonolo. The average amount offered for these jobs was $14.80/hour.
The minimum wage in New York (excluding New York City which is $15/hour) is $12.50/hour as of December 31, 2020 (increasing every year until it reaches $15/hour). The average living wage for the state of New York for a single person with no dependents is $15.56/hour. The living wage is lower than the average amount businesses are offering for delivery jobs, meaning that if you are offering less, you may not be able to find the talent you need.
Hourly Wage for Houston
Living Wage: $12.20
Minimum Wage: $7.25
The majority of Wonolo’s postings in Houston are delivery jobs, accounting for 37% of jobs posted in the city. The average wage for these jobs was $8.75/hour. The living wage in Houston is $12.20/hour for a single person with no dependents. The minimum wage in Texas is the same as the federal minimum of $7.25/hour. This shows there may be a lot of people willing to work for a lower wage, but they may have a hard time getting by with the average wages being offered. If you are determining wages for a role, it may be worth considering raising them above the average to attract more qualified individuals and to be able to pay them fairly.
Hourly Wage for Atlanta
Living Wage: $13.62
Minimum Wage: $7.25
Wonolo’s customers filled a variety of roles in Atlanta. This past year, a substantial portion (28%) of jobs posted on the Wonolo platform were general labor jobs. The average amount offered by customers for these jobs was $9.81/hour. This was followed closely by fulfillment/warehousing at 24% of positions posted on the Wonolo platform. The average amount offered for these jobs was $12.29/hour. The living wage in Atlanta is $13.62/hour for a single person with no dependents.
Hourly Wage for Phoenix
Living Wage: $12.29
Minimum Wage: $12.15 (starting in January 2021)
The relative majority of jobs posted to Wonolo in Phoenix (40%) were fulfillment/warehousing jobs. The average amount customers offered for these jobs was $13.92/hour. This was followed by general labor jobs, accounting for 23% of the jobs posted to Wonolo. The average amount customers offered for these jobs was $13.24/hour.
Hourly Wage for Chicago
Living Wage: $13.38
Minimum Wage: $14.00
The relative majority of jobs posted to Wonolo in Chicago (52%) were fulfillment/warehousing jobs. This is followed by general labor at 28% of the jobs posted to Wonolo. The average amount customers offered for these jobs was $13.99/hour.
The living wage in Chicago is $13.38/hour for a single person with no dependents.
The minimum wage in Chicago is $13/hour (increased in July 2019 from $12/hour), rising to $14/hour in July 2020. Outside of Chicago, Illinois’ minimum wage is $9.25/hour.
Hourly Wage for Denver
Living Wage: $14.26
Minimum Wage: $11.10
Wonolo has helped companies in Denver connect with workers for a variety of roles, including general labor, washing and cleaning, and merchandising. General labor roles had the highest average pay offered at $17.21/hour, followed by merchandising roles at $16.35/hour. Washing and cleaning came in at $11.66/hour. This shows that the ability to get paid a living wage in Denver can vary greatly by role.
Hourly Wage for Nashville
Living Wage: $12.21
Minimum Wage: $7.25
The majority of Wonolo’s postings in Nashville are general labor jobs, accounting for 35% of jobs posted in the city. The average wage for these jobs was $12.26/hour. The living wage in Nashville is $12.21/hour for a single person with no dependents. As the average and living wage are quite similar, this indicates this is a good benchmark for fair and reasonable wages.
Hourly Wage for Indianapolis
Living Wage: $11.48
Minimum Wage: $7.25
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the most popular industries in Indianapolis include transportation and material moving, office and administrative support, sales, and food preparation and serving. The mean wage for all of these industries in May 2019 was above the living wage.
Creative Compensation & Benefits
We offer workers the opportunity to learn new skills via our program WonoloUp, so they can become more competitive candidates. They can earn badges by completing online courses, which companies can see when choosing workers for open roles. This can help them get higher-paying opportunities and build skills they may need for future work.
Wonolo also gives workers access to more traditional benefits. All workers using Wonolo have Occupational Accident Insurance and have access to a range of benefits including health insurance, dental insurance, paid Flex Time Off, tax help, and more – all of which are portable so workers can take them wherever they go.
But we still have work to do. One of our goals is to leverage MIT’s living wage data to help encourage ALL businesses on our platform to offer jobs that pay a living wage in their communities.
This piece is one of a series of blog posts aimed at providing general information to the public. To learn more about Wonolo’s mission of helping underserved people find work on their own terms, with jobs that fit their schedule, visit https://try.wonolo.com/. Nothing in this post should be construed as legal advice, if you need legal advice, consult an attorney.
*Living wage and minimum wage are subject to change, these were the wages as of December 2020.