Could You Survive on Fast-Food Wages? Try Our Calculator

Chief among the demands made by the hundreds of fast-food workers who walked out of their jobs this week: A raise to a "livable" wage of $15 an hour. Currently, the median hourly wage for the cooks, cashiers, and crew who deliver your value meals is $8.94, according to a new report from the National Employment Law Project. That’s hardly enough to get by in most cities.

And while $15 might sound like a big jump, it’s still not enough to meet living wage standards in many areas. Many fast-food workers are parents raising children, which significantly boosts their day-to-day expenses. And many are part-timers; on average they work about 24.5 hours per week.

How would you and your family fare on a typical fast-food paycheck? How much does it really take to make ends meet in your city or state? Use this calculator to get a better sense of what fast-food workers are up against.

How many people are in your household? One Adult No Children
One Adult One Child
One Adult Two Children
One Adult Three Children
Two Adults No Children
Two Adults One Child
Two Adults Two Children
Two Adults Three ChildrenWhich state do you live in? Which area do you live in? (Area data not available for households without children.)How much do you make in a year? $

In order to make $___ a year, the typical fast-food worker has to work __ hours a week.
A household like yours in ___, ___ needs to earn $__ annually to make a secure yet modest living. A fast-food worker working full time would have to earn $__ an hour to make that much.
The average fast-food employee works less than 25 hours a week. To make a living wage in ___, ___ at current median wages, s/he would have to work __ hours a week.
In __ hours, McDonald’s serves __ customers and makes $__. That’s about __ Big Macs.

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