Do you recall that that's in line with what bottom-earning workers would earn if productivity gains were reflected in their wages? But let's not get carried away. Estimates for living wages range between $8 and $12 for single people in many areas of the U.S. The rate goes up to around $10 to $13 if children are considered, but that assumes two low-income earners per household. With wages where they are now, it must be assumed that government assistance is essential.