cost of living

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cost of living,

amount of money needed to buy the goods and services necessary to maintain a specified standard of livingstandard of living,
level of consumption that an individual, group, or nation has achieved. The evaluation of a standard of living is relative, depending upon the judgment of the observer as to what constitutes a high or a low scale.
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. The cost of living is closely tied to rates of inflationinflation,
in economics, persistent and relatively large increase in the general price level of goods and services. Its opposite is deflation, a process of generally declining prices. The U.S.
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 and deflation. In estimating such costs, food, clothing, rent, fuel, lighting, and furnishings as well as expenses for communication, education, recreation, transportation, and medical services are generally included. The Consumer Price Index (CPI), a measurement of the cost of living prepared by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, tracks changes in retail prices of an average "market basket." Changes are compared to prices in a previously selected base year, from which figures the percentage increase or decrease in the cost of living can be calculated. In addition to changes over time, such analyses must also consider regional variations in the cost of living, and the relative weighting of the components of the index must be reappraised periodically. The CPI is based the spending habits of 14,000 households that are considered representative of the U.S. urban and metropolitan population; data collectors collect and compile some 80,000 price quotes monthly. The first attempt to gather data on the cost of living in the United States was made by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 1890. The dramatic increase in the rate of inflation during the 1970s led to the widespread use of cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) in wage agreements, real estate leases, and such government benefits as social security. These adjustments are often made using the CPI.

Bibliography

See bibliography under standard of livingstandard of living,
level of consumption that an individual, group, or nation has achieved. The evaluation of a standard of living is relative, depending upon the judgment of the observer as to what constitutes a high or a low scale.
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.

cost of living

1. 
a. the basic cost of the food, clothing, shelter, and fuel necessary to maintain life, esp at a standard regarded as basic or minimal
b. (as modifier): the cost-of-living index
2. the average expenditure of a person or family in a given period
References in periodicals archive ?
The county similarly used those health care savings to provide cost-of-living raises in new three-year contracts signed this fall with the county's sheriff's deputies and the roughly 600 county employees represented by American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2831.
Conceptualizing and Measuring Cost-of-Living and Price Indexes," panel on conceptual measurement, and other statistical issue in developing cost-of-living indexes, Charles L.
Because the cost-of-living adjustment involves comparing a state to the national average, the computation uses a ratio of national to state values.
In theory, cost-of-living changes are measured by envisioning the cost of attaining a certain level of welfare and comparing that cost in different places or different periods of time.
A site on the Web provides current cost-of-living figures for cities throughout the U.
Employees with base salaries below the competitive external market are eligible to receive a raise, depending on their job performance and the cost-of-living increase, and a possible variable pay award based on their individual performance and the company's or department's performance.
At the same time, the Consumer Price Index, the government's main inflation barometer and the key indicator for the year's cost-of-living adjustment, shot up .
The enthusiasm for cost-of-living allowances is seen as part of a growing trend.
The major stumbling blocks to settlement reportedly were pension benefits and cost-of-living adjustments.
Among improvements, the agreement provides for a compounded 12 percent wage increase over the contract term, with a cost-of-living adjustment in the final year, and a 2 percent increase in the pension bands in each contract year, also with a final year cost-of-living adjustment.
Summary: JEDDAH: Foreign workers contracted by various government bodies will by paid the 15 percent cost-of-living allowance on equal footing with their Saudi colleagues, local daily Al-Watan reported Friday, citing the Ministry of Finance.
The Eugene Police Employees' Association last week agreed to give up six months of a previously agreed to cost-of-living raise, and to accept smaller cost-of-living raises in two future years.