In my state, Ohio, voters raised the wage to $6.85 an hour, Montana to $6.15 or the federal wage, whichever is higher, and Missouri to $6.50. Arizona voters raised the minimum wage to $6.75.
CNN also projects that Nevada voters will approve a mandatory minimum wage constitutional amendment that would set the wage at $6.15 if the employer does not provide health benefits. Blah.
A good start for most states. But they are still too low for anyone to live off of, even on the slimmest of budgets. There's a book, which I read, called Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America
The author, Barbara Ehrenreich, sets out to find how anyone could make ends meet on $7 an hour, she left behind her middle class life as a journalist except for $1000 in start-up funds, a car and her laptop computer to try to sustain herself as a low-skilled worker for a month at a time. In 1999 and 2000, Ehrenreich worked as a waitress , a cleaning woman, a nursing home aide, and in a Wal-Mart employee.
End result? Her income barely covered her month's expenses in only one instance, when she worked seven days a week at two jobs (one of which provided free meals) during the off-season in a vacation town.