North Carolina workers need a raise. For 11 consecutive years, the cost of living (food, rent, education, childcare) has increased causing our minimum wage to decline in value by 24 percent. Now, a person working full-time while making $7.25 an hour lives thousands of dollars below the federal poverty threshold. A good job with fair wages is the right of all working people, and the time for change is long overdue.
More than two million people—nearly 1 in 3 workers—in North Carolina get paid poverty wages. They work without knowing how they’ll make rent or how they’ll support their children despite, in many cases, working for multi-billion-dollar corporations that can afford to pay them more. When a family of three would need to make $21.95 an hour to get by on a frugal budget without public assistance, we cannot accept the fabrication that life here is so cheap we can live on low wages; $15 is the actual minimum needed to cover the bare necessities.