Last month, the federal minimum wage increased from $5.85 to $6.55 an hour. This graphic illustrates how a single parent with two children in the Triangle could surviveor noton this wage. Monthly expenses are roughly $960, $100 less than the take-home pay. The numbers assume the parent works full-time, receives Medicaid and food stamps. Expenses include car insurance, gas, food items not covered by stamps, utilities such as a landline phone and cell phone.

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Sources: N.C. Dept. of Health and Human Services, N.C. Dept. of Child Development, local housing authorities, U.S. Dept. of Labor.