July 22, 2016
People who work for a living should be able to make a living
Next week, way back in 2007, the federal government increased the minimum wage from $6.55 to $7.25. Nine years on, too many people working in North Carolina are locked into low-wage jobs that don’t pay enough to cover the basics, even working full-time or more. Not only does low pay require people to do more with less, it is stifling our state economy – as working people struggle to afford necessities, they spend less money at businesses in their communities.
The General Assembly had several opportunities during the 2015-2016 legislative session to raise North Carolina’s minimum wage from the current federal minimum of $7.25 an hour. Yet legislative leaders refused to act.
Boosting the wage floor to just $10 an hour would impact about 1 million working people in North Carolina, putting more money in the pockets of folks who will spend it on providing for families while increasing sales for local businesses and strengthening the state’s economy.
For thousands of low-wage working people and their families, especially for the 1 in 4 North Carolina children living in poverty, raising the minimum wage would make the difference between an empty fridge and making ends meet. In fact, half a million children in the state would experience increased security thanks to their parents’ higher wages.