There is a lot of debate around staffing shortages across the country. At the center of most of those debates is the living wage.

I decided to see if I could find out Amarillo's living wage. The answer was surprising.

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Best To Ask Someone A Lot Smarter Than Me

Instead of anecdotal evidence, I decided to see what people who are more qualified than I had to say. MIT seemed like a good place to start.

MIT
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The smarter-than-me folks at MIT have put together the Living Wage Calculator. The calculator breaks down the living wage by using criteria like:

  • food (not including "eating out")
  • childcare
  • health insurance
  • housing
  • transportation
  • basic necessities (they provide examples like clothing, personal care items, etc.)

They also break the numbers down according to family size. A single working individual obviously doesn't have the same living wage as a family of five.

Also, the living wage listed is for an individual working full time. The results for a family with two working adults are for each working adult.

What Exactly Is A Living Wage?

In this study, the living wage is the wage needed to cover the basic necessities, not including entertainment, vacations, or the ability to invest and save.

The living wage, in this instance, is what it takes to get by.

Here Is The Living Wage In Amarillo

Findings are sorted by family size and listed as pay per hour.

At one end is a single working adult with no children. The living wage is $14.58. At the opposite end is a family of five with two working adults.

Michael J. Rivera/TSM
Michael J. Rivera/TSM
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In that instance, the living wage is $23.90 per adult.

As you would expect, the cost of living is highest for a single working adult. The more children you have, the higher it jumps. For a single working parent with three children, the cost of living is $46.90.

You can see the full chart here.

How Does Amarillo Compare To Lubbock?

Oddly enough, Lubbock's cost of living is slightly lower than Amarillo's. We're talking somewhere between twenty and thirty cents.

TSM Lubbock
TSM Lubbock
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One difference is in the cost of housing. Another is the cost of childcare.

You can see Lubbock's breakdown here.

What About Midland-Odessa And Amarillo?

Midland-Odessa's cost of living is higher than that of Amarillo's in several areas. For instance, the cost of living for a single working adult with no children is $17.68.

Petroleum industry in the Permian Basin.
Sean Hannon
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I suppose we should be thankful. Things get expensive in the Permian Basin.

You can see how Midland stacks up by following this link.

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