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Teen Health 411

Families Struggle to Make Ends Meet

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Do you know that a job making minimum wage ($8) brings in an annual salary of $16,640? A parent with two children living in the San Francisco Bay Area would need to work three full-time minimum wage jobs just to make ends meet.

The updated 2008 California Family Economic Self-Sufficiency Standard reports that the median self-sufficiency standard for the state of California has increased by $14,420 for a family of three while the minimum wage has increased by only $2,600, leaving most families unable to meet the cost of basic needs. When I say basic, I mean basic - housing, food, utilities, child care, health care, and transportation.

So, what does it cost to live in the SF Bay Area? Well, if a family lives in Marin County, the self-sufficiency standard is $73,576. If you live in Solano County, you can "get by" with $54,668! Santa Clara County is $68,430 and Santa Cruz County is $65,726. So, in Santa Clara County, a single adult with two kids would have to make at least $33 an hour just to cover the basics!

We are in so much trouble! No wonder families cannot provide health insurance, medications, clothes, and school supplies to their kids, and the credit debt in our country is skyrocketing! How can we focus on our families when we have to struggle to make ends meet?

Photo credit: My Alternative Photos
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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.

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