Tags: Minimum Wage | US State Facts | minimum wage | living wage | North Carolina

What's the Difference Between Minimum Wage and Living Wage in North Carolina?

By    |   Saturday, 05 Mar 2016 01:30 AM

North Carolina’s minimum wage has been $7.25 an hour since 2009, which is one of the lowest rates in the country. The Tar Heel State’s minimum wage rate is the same as the federal government’s minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

North Carolina’s minimum wage is significantly lower than the so-called living wage. A living wage is defined as an hourly rate that “allows a family to meet its basic needs, and provides it with some ability to deal with emergencies, without resorting to welfare or other public assistance,” according to the Business Dictionary.

The living wage required for one adult to fully support his basic needs without governmental assistance is $10.13, according to the living wage calculator originated and run by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The living wage rate increases to $20.78 for an adult supporting himself and one child, $24.86 for one adult supporting himself and two children, and $31.51 for one adult and three children.

Urgent: Do You Think the Minimum Wage Should Be Raised?

The progressive push to convert the minimum wage to a living wage has taken root in North Carolina through the college town of Durham, one of the most liberal cities in the state. A consortium of businesses and volunteers have established the Durham Living Wage project, which influences businesses to begin voluntarily providing their workers a living wage of $12.33 an hour, as reported by WTVD-TV in Raleigh. The project is encouraging businesses to increase hourly rates for their employees.

Political pressure is similarly building for a living wage rate in Asheville, North Carolina, according to the Citizen Times. More than half of the members of Asheville’s City Council said they would vote for a minimum wage hike. Councilman Chris Pelly told the Citizen Times, “A worker can easily be spending two-thirds of their income on housing alone without even considering food, utilities or transportation.”

However, cities and counties in North Carolina are prohibited from raising the minimum wage in their jurisdiction. Only the state’s General Assembly can pass legislation increasing the minimum wage rate.

VOTE NOW: Is North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory Doing a Good Job?

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North Carolina's minimum wage has been $7.25 an hour since 2009, which is one of the lowest rates in the country. The Tar Heel State's minimum wage rate is the same as the federal government's minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.
minimum wage, living wage, North Carolina
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2016-30-05
Saturday, 05 Mar 2016 01:30 AM
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