Key Findings

Fifty-five percent of job openings pay less than $15.82 an hour, the living wage for a single adult. Nearly nine out of 10, 87 percent, pay less than $28.86 an hour, the living wage for a single adult with two children.

For each job opening that pays at least $15.82 an hour, the living wage for a single adult, there are 12 job-seekers on average. For each job opening that pays at least $28.86 an hour, the living wage for a single adult with two children, there are 40 job-seekers on average.

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Jeff Loxterkamp – Bangor, ME

“I wish I could afford to put more money away for savings and retirement.”

Personal Testimony: Jeff Loxterkamp

Whenever I try and save, a shoe drops and I have to get something fixed on my car or my mobile home. I have $4,000 in credit card debt from paying for gas to get my daughter and me to and from work.

My true passion is art, but it’s hard enough to find a job that pays well, let alone one that lets me pursue my passion. At one point, I was working three part-time jobs in order to pay the bills. It burned me out, and now I’m down to working at a K-Mart, where I only earn $7.75 per hour, about 30 hours per week. I’m constantly on the lookout for better-paying jobs, such as teaching art at local colleges, but nothing has panned out.

Whenever I try and save, a shoe drops and I have to get something fixed on my car or my mobile home. I have $4,000 in credit card debt from paying for gas to get my daughter and me to and from work. I’ve been living alone for the past five years since my divorce, but I recently found a roommate to help pay the bills. I own my mobile home, but still have a $343 lot fee every month.

I earned my Master’s of Fine Arts degree in painting from the University of Iowa in 1989, and I still exhibit regularly. I would love to focus more on my art, but it’s a struggle just getting through the day, so art and art-related things always get cut back. Instead, I’m teaching myself how to do repairs around the house and on my car to save money.

I wish I could afford to put more money away for savings and retirement. To be honest, if I was making more money, half of my increased income would go to my brilliant daughter, who’s starting college at Wellesley College in the fall.

I’m hoping my art sales pick up so I can help support her education. The rest would go to savings, paying down my credit card debt, frames and art supplies, and getting a new catalytic converter on my car. Maybe I’d even take a vacation! For now, I’m still living paycheck-to-paycheck, and trying not to think about retirement.

Maine Low Wage Fact Sheet

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National Low Wage Nation Report

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