In Seattle, a gallon of milk averages about $3.60, a gallon of gas $3.94, a ride on the bus $2.50. A 16-ounce latte at Starbucks is $3.35 and a pint of local beer $4.50. A typical one-bedroom apartment rents for $1,400.
Seattle's wage is set to begin climbing in April 2015, with many workers reaching $11 an hour next year. That will surpass San Francisco's minimum wage, which at $10.55 an hour is currently the highest of any American city.
An Associated Press comparison of the cost of living in several other major U.S. cities shows a higher wage would make a difference in those places too, but it won't allow for many extras.
NEW YORK CITY:
New York's minimum wage is $8, and the median Manhattan rent is $3,420, according to a recent report, so multiple roommates would be required to get by on a yearly minimum-wage salary of $16,640.
The other costs of living in New York are steep. A large coffee at Starbucks is about $2.45, a foot-long sandwich at Subway is $6.90. A gallon of milk is just over $4, a gallon of gas $3.93, a ride on the subway $2.50. The average taxi fare is a bit over $15.
New York's minimum wage, which is set by the state, is slated to rise to $8.75 on Dec. 31 and then $9 at the end of next year. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has recently opened the door to let cities set their own minimum wage at 30 percent higher than the $10.10 proposed by President Barack Obama, which could mean a $13 wage in New York's future.
Miami's minimum wage has been $7.93 since January and is adjusted annually. The city's Consumer Price Index has gone up by 2 percent over the last year as the region recovers from the housing market collapse of eight years ago.
Regular gas in Miami costs about $3.50 a gallon, a basic bus ride $2.25, milk about $4 a gallon and a quality sub is about $8. A large coffee is about $3. Cab fares are $2.50 for the first sixth of a mile and then 40 cents per sixth of a mile. Because of the hurricane danger, property insurance can be double or triple the rates in other parts of the country, if not more.