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I'm GMing a game in which one person has taken the flaw "Day Job". Since I'm trying to follow the flow of money, what would be a good hourly wage in nuyen for this poor sap? I'm looking for a minimum here. He is working at a very low end job. I'm sorry if they actually list the amount in the srcomp, the player has this book, but I don't. (he doesn't have access to the book currently, so we can't check this just yet.)

I was also thinking that if I knew what the lowliest wage slave makes in a year, I might be able to make a better guess as how much I should be giving the characters for a shadowrun.
Originally a nuyen was supposed to have the rough buying power of 1 US dollar today, so it should be easy to conceptualize a working wage - find out what a similar job pulls down today, and go with that.

There are two important questions here; 1, is he full time or otherwise expected to be able to survive like a normal human off of this income, and 2, does he have a SIN? The best scenario for him is he's full time and has a SIN, in which case he'll probably make $10-12 ($22k, equivalent to government's GS-4), plus he'll have welfare, social security and medicare, optionally he'll have better health care and life insurance (government and big corps are more likely to add in the last two). Debatably, large metahumans may get a slight increase since their cost of living is higher, but that's debatable. If he's working part time, he'll probably make $12 down to your average greasy teen, about $5.75 I believe. He also won't get health care or life insurance. If he has no SIN, irrelevant as to whether he's working full time or part, he'll make less than a normal employee; cut $1-3 dollars off. He doesn't get any benefits and the pay might be late or forgotten periodically, but also doesn't have to pay taxes. These numbers are all before taxes, which one can assume to take off 10-20% of the salary (the government is weaker, but I'm guessing that major corps will have their own special "voluntary" funds, and smaller corps just won't pay quite as much).

Keep in mind, if you go below $10 an hour, that's less than $20k a year which I believe to be the poverty line. So no major corp is going to pay their workers less than that, unless they can deny the employee exists.

A low lifestyle costs 12k a year, hence a good low-level job could pay that. 1000 nuyen.gif /month, with we'll assume 35 hours a week (40 or 45 if you really want to go dystopia), 4 weeks a month.. come to around 7 nuyen.gif /hour, which is reasonable.

Thing to remember is that in SR the distance between the have and the have-nots is bigger than today. Corp wage slaves make it to middle lifestyle. Everyone else has a low lifestyle, since there is a HUGE gap differance between making 12k a year and 60k a year.
Minimum wage is 4 something an hour, but a McJob can pay roughly 6 dollars an hour. I stocked boxes night-shift at 9 an hour.

Is he working full time? Part time? Is he supporting himself off that job alone? What kind of hell-hole is he living in?

Although I gotta admit, "Falling Down" takes on a whole new context in SR. biggrin.gif

"Low level wage" has to cover more than simply the cost of the lifestyle. It has to include taxes, money for a car, the cost of taking care of one or more dependents etc. I would say that $12k for full time would be unacceptable for anyone not living with their parents (unless they're SINless, in which case its whatever they can get...)
It sucks like all hell, but it's not uncommon. There's a debate going on in Atlanta about "a living wage" with the realization of people working dead-end jobs and no other source of income can stay alive but are maybe a notch above homeless and not more than that.

People in this kind of scenario will often do without benefits and usually have public assistance, be it housing or food stamps or whathaveyou.

12,000 Nuyen per year isn't too bad, IF a middle-class STD of living only costs about 36K. But if that same middle-class STD of living costs you 60k/year, you're gonna need to make about 20K/year.

Now the way I see it (corrections appreciated), Middle-Class SoL (Standard of Living) today probably runs about $50-$60K in the big metropolis cities (NY, Boston, Dallas, LA, etc.), but costs considerably less the further you get from civilization. My first job here in Baton Rouge, LA grossed me barely $19k/year, but I was able to live somewhat confortably. I had a small 1 bedroom apartment, old pick-up truck and cable TV. I had to skimp on most of the extras, and my entertainment budget was pretty much nil, but it wasn't too bad. However, that kind of salary would have gotten me a cardboard box down an alley in Boston.

My point is that a character in SR would have to make AT LEAST 20k/year to make it at the low standard of living in Seattle. However, that creates a smaller gap between the haves and the have-nots.

There's also a big problem with the cost of extra lifestyles. If I decided to rent a studio apartment, almost never use any electricity, not have to keep the fridge stocked, and not have to own a vehilce/tube pass for it, it would be super cheap. Probably no more than one third of the base lifestyle cost. Has anyone else come up with some good house-rules for extra lifestyles?
Modified lifestyles? The latest "Guide to" book had a write-up for new, expanded lifestyles.

Yeah...I got SSG when it came out. I wasn't very happy with that section. It's really not at the level of detail that I would like it to be.

And if you look a the ratings, they can't accomodate things like a paid-for house, or KE handling your security as payment for a run.
QUOTE (nezumi @ Nov 10 2003, 04:24 PM)
"Low level wage" has to cover more than simply the cost of the lifestyle.  It has to include taxes, money for a car, the cost of taking care of one or more dependents etc.

Taxes and basic transportation are covered in Lifestyle costs. Dependents aren't covered, but then they're too rarely covered IRL in that wage grouping.


edit: paid-for houses are covered in SR3. Pay 100 months of it and it's paid for in perpetuity. For KE covering, just upgrade their Security rating for no cost.
QUOTE (TheOneRonin)
And if you look a the ratings, they can't accomodate things like a paid-for house, or KE handling your security as payment for a run.

Why not? SSG p133 gives rules for owning a house, and you could do the same for "owned" or free security. Simply take your lifestyle cost, divide it by the number of points, and multiply it by the total points - the points for the purchased/free part. Thus a standard middle lifestyle in an owned house would be base 18 points, 5,000 nuyen.gif. The modified cost would be 15/18 * 5,000 nuyen.gif which leaves you paying 4166 nuyen.gif a month for the same lifestyle.

It's a bit high, but seems fair enough with utilities, transportation, etc. Not to mention all the stuff that gets rolled into lifestyle which simply won't go away when your rent does.
Talia Invierno
Odds are also that roommates, roomers (a bit of extra income?), and families with multiple workers would be extremely common at the lower ends: five, six persons to an SSG Low (space) lifestyle. UCAS standards, of course. Go elsewhere in the world, and that will change.
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