What $25/Hr Wages Will Buy in Rural America

A while back, some people had some negative comments about articles a fellow team member wrote for the Huffington Post's Small Business Section about wages paid by some US outsourcing companies. They accused companies, such as Rural America OnShore Outsourcing, of paying their employees "peanuts" and "slave wages," in order to compete with offshore outsourcing firms. They implied - harshly - that our team members' salaries "couldn't possibly be enough to live on."

We realized these were likely just reactionary comments by people who did not actually live in a small, rural community - as most of the RAOO team members do - but we decided to put our claims to the test with something other than just personal stories. We know, for example, that in the town where our corporate headquarters resides, we can go out to the local supper club tonight and get a great steak with all the fixings for less than $20, around $15 for prime rib when it's the special of the night. That's at least half of what someone would pay in Chicago. Top it off with a pint of beer for about $2.50 (rather than $5 or $6 in Chicago) - that's a pretty cheap night on the town.

But, we wanted to back up these stories with a little research.

So I asked two of my Rural America colleagues, Julie Berglund and Karen Johnson, to share their results.

What a Wage of $25/hr Will Buy in Rural America