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February 27, 2013 | last updated February 27, 2013 10:57 am

Report: Wages don't meet need

A new report by the Maine People's Alliance shows a growing gap between wages and the cost of living in Maine, which lawmakers on both sides of the aisle agree is a problem for the state, according to the Bangor Daily News.

The MPA on Tuesday announced the release of the 2012 Job Gap Report, done in collaboration with the nonprofit Alliance for a Just Society, which pegs the liveable wage for a single working adult in Maine at $32,000. For a family of four, the study found earnings must total $80,000 a year to afford necessities like housing, food and health care.

The study found that around half of all 2012 job openings in Maine paid less than $15.40 an hour, which the study identified as the living wage for a single adult. The study also found that Maine had the largest increase of any state in the number of people holding multiple jobs, as a percentage of total employment.

Democratic and Republican lawmakers interviewed by the BDN said they agree good-paying jobs are a priority but diverged on the recommendations of the MPA report, which asked for: an increase in the minimum wage; expansion of access to health care and state acceptance of federal funds to expand Medicaid; investment in early childhood programs; and a fair tax system.

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