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Minimum Wage: 3 Facts About Nebraska's Minimum Wage

By    |   Sunday, 24 Jan 2016 02:25 PM

As America debates minimum wage, both federally and at the state levels, Nebraska has taken steps to increase its minimum wage in both 2015 and 2016 from its previous hold at $7.25. This amount matched the federal minimum wage, but during the November 2014 election, Nebraskans voted for the minimum wage to be increased on Jan. 1, 2015, and then again on Jan. 1, 2016.

However, even these increases do not bring Nebraska minimum wage workers up to the living wage standards that Massachusetts Institute of Technology calculated for an array of potential taxpayers from single and working to two adults working with three children.

Here are three facts about Nebraska’s minimum wage.

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The 2015 Increase
Those making minimum wage in Nebraska brought home $8 per hour in 2015, a 75 cent increase from the previous minimum wage of $7.25 thanks to a bill voted on during the November 2014 election day. The vote passed with 59 percent of voters opting to support a minimum wage increase to $8 that started on Jan. 1, 2015.

The same bill also stated that the minimum wage would increase again one year later to $9 to give businesses a chance to prepare. In a January 2015 report by KETV, one minimum wage worker said of the bill’s passing, “I am excited about it because it will help me out a lot, since I basically had to work two years to get to minimum wage already.”

Below Living Wage
The term “living wage” has received a lot of attention. In recent years, people debated the merits of focusing on the actual living wage needed to live in a state versus a set federal minimum wage. As for Nebraskans, the living wage exceeds the $8 minimum wage for 11 of the 12 family groupings outlined by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The only group that came under the state’s minimum wage is at needing an average of $7.98 for two working adults needed in order to be at the state's living wage.

At or Below Minimum Wage
According to Governing.com, Nebraska has 29,000 workers that are making at or below the state’s minimum wage per hour. This number breaks down to 12,000 Nebraskans being under the state’s $8 minimum wage, while the other 17,000 were at the minimum wage in 2013. However, the state’s median hourly earnings was $13.02 that same year, which is an improvement overall for hourly workers in the state. This figure put Nebraska as the 27th highest state in terms of median hourly earnings. As far as having the highest number of people earning minimum wage, Nebraska came in 31st in comparison to first place Texas, which had 223,000 people earning the minimum wage rate.

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As America debates minimum wage, both federally and at the state levels, Nebraska has taken steps to increase its minimum wage in both 2015 and 2016 from its previous hold at $7.25.
Minimum wage, Nebraska, facts
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2016-25-24
Sunday, 24 Jan 2016 02:25 PM
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