North Carolina lawmakers have announced the reintroduction of inclusive legislation that raises the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $15 an hour by 2023 and indexes it to the cost of living, ends the subminimum wage for persons with disabilities, phases out the tipped minimum (currently $2.13 an hour) and repeals exemptions for agricultural and domestic workers.
North Carolina’s minimum wage has been stuck at the federal level of $7.25 an hour for nearly 12 years. Our state’s tipped minimum wage stands at the federal level of $2.13 per hour. That’s just not cutting it anymore, as costs of living continue to rise; at this point, it takes at least $16.20 an hour for a family to afford the basics.
Numerous studies have shown far-reaching benefits of raising the minimum wage, including fewer people in poverty, improved physical and mental health, a significant decrease in suicide rates, decrease in child neglect, and progress toward closing the racial wage gap and the gender wage gap. Raising wages will also boost consumer demand and accelerate job growth. North Carolina needs to create jobs that pay workers enough to afford the basics for themselves and their families.
Raising the minimum wage in North Carolina plays an essential role in addressing the problem of low wages by providing families with bigger paychecks, creating more good jobs, and building thriving communities.
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