According to a recent study conducted by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, living wage requirements for businesses that receive government subsidies do not have a detrimental impact on business and job growth. A living wage is a base wage that covers an individual's actual costs of housing, food, clothing and other necessary living expenses. A living wage is not the same term as a minimum wage. The minimum wage is set by federal and state law. A living wage is normally thought of as covering true expenses of living where the legally imposed minimum wage is an absolute minimum an employee can be paid.