Workers are 46% more likely to make below $15 an hour in states paying only the federal minimum wage,
I guess one could get by on this salary if one were frugal, could find low-cost housing, maybe used public transportation, ate cheaply, etc. There is not much room for anything else. And yet people still manage to do it. As EPI details, Nineteen percent of workers (9.76 million workers) in 20 states are paid less than $15 per hour, compared with 13% of workers in the 30 states.
“Workers are 46% more likely to make below $15 an hour in states paying only the federal minimum wage,” Economic Policy Institute, Ben Zipperer and Dave Kamper
The crisis of low pay is widespread throughout the United States and will remain so until federal and state policymakers prioritize the economic hardships of low-wage workers. Even after the rapid inflation of the past 18 months and the recent unprecedented wage growth for lower-wage workers, 21 million workers are still paid less than $15 per hour.
The problem is severe for workers in the 20 states still following the stagnant and outdated federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. The minimum wage has not been raised in over 13 years. It is now worth less in inflation-adjusted terms than at any point since 1956. 1 In those states, 19% of workers are paid less than $15 per hour, compared with 13% of workers in the 30 states and District of Columbia. As a result, a worker in one of the 20 states with a $7.25 minimum wage is 46% more likely to make less than $15 an hour than a worker in the other 30 states or District of Columbia with higher minimum wages.
According to EPI’s Family Budget Calculator, there is no part of this country where even a single adult without children can achieve an adequate standard of living with a wage of less than $15 an hour.
With the lack of Congressional action, the federal minimum wage has lost more than a third of its value since its inflation-adjusted high point of 1968. Policymakers in the 20 states following the federal minimum should not wait for Congress to pass a minimum wage increase and begin raising workers’ wages now.
1. Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. (source: EPI’s Minimum Wage Tracker).
Good decision, big institutional problem on minimum wage work-around, Angry Bear, Eric Kramer.