Frequently Asked Questions

What is the intent of the Cost of Living Calculator?

The tool helps humanize compensation conversations and provides context to employee perception of pay rates. Adecco can provide guidance to viable compensations strategies that help meet your business goals while still promoting employee well-being.

How do we calculate this data?

Based on governmental and publicly available data sources, we estimate the monthly cost of Housing, Childcare, Food, Gas, Health Insurance, and ‘Other Costs’ to determine the hourly wage needed to cover these basic expenses. Expenses are also adjusted based on location and family size of the household.

What is the difference between a cost of living and market wage?

Cost of living wage is the estimated amount needed to cover basic expenses based on the location and household size. Market wage is determined by the skill set, location, labor scarcity, and what the local competition is paying for similar jobs. Cost of living wage should be used in conjunction with market wages and market analysis before making any wage adjustments.

What if the estimated wage is lower or higher than a pay rate? The estimated cost of living should be used as a reference point when determining compensation levels. The job skill set, labor scarcity, local competition, and other factors should all be taken into consideration when reviewing pay rates.
Where does the data come from? Data is pulled from sources like the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Consumer Expenditure Survey, and US Energy Information Administration.
How often is the data refreshed?

We pull the most recent data available. Some data sources are updated annually while others are updated monthly

Our success stories

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A “fast” success, months in the making

Adecco plays the long game with $2 increase and client success

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Going above (market wages) and beyond for a long-time customer

Adecco uses new incentives to invest in staffing success

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Data drives smarter wages and a stronger outlook

Adecco's staffing experience and market insights bolster applications.

Ready to dig deeper?

We have the tools and data to help you better understand your local market.

Screenshot of Cost of Living Calculator

Why use our Cost of Living Calculator?

This tool is your starting point for developing a more thoughtful pay rate strategy. Use it to guide your conversations and focus on employee well-being and job satisfaction.

Example of the Monthly Expense Breakdown Piechart

What expenses does Cost of Living cover?

Included: Rent, food made at home, gas, health insurance coverage, basic hygiene necessities, household maintenance, and childcare

Not Included: Savings for unexpected bills, meals eaten at restaurants, vacations or unpaid time off, retirement savings, sporting events, movies, and other entertainment.

How are “market wages” different than Cost of Living?

Cost of Living
Covers the primary expenses for an individual or family to maintain a modest budget in the area where they live

Market Wages
Based on a job’s required skill sets, local labor shortages, employer competition, and other factors