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Minimum Wage: 4 Facts about North Carolina's Minimum Wage

By    |   Saturday, 23 Jan 2016 02:21 AM

North Carolina has not yet become engulfed in the divisive minimum wage debate – though the controversial issue is beginning to gain traction in the Tar Heel State.

Here are four facts about North Carolina’s minimum wage history:

1. Current Rate
North Carolina’s minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The state’s rate is one of the lowest in the U.S., according to InsideGov, and is the same amount as the federal minimum wage.

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2. Push to Raise Minimum Wage in Durham
A group of businesses and volunteers have organized the Durham Living Wage project to encourage businesses to pay their workers a $12.33 an hour living wage, according to WTVD-TV Channel 11 News in Raleigh. Launched in March 2015, the project is offering incentives to businesses to increase hourly rates for employees. As of March 30, 28 businesses and 11 nonprofits had agreed to hike the hourly minimum wage to the $12.33 figure.

3. Minimum Wage Exceptions
Some employees in North Carolina do not receive minimum wage pay. The federal government provides exceptions for tipped employees, some student workers and a handful of other occupations, such as agricultural and domestic workers, according to Minimum-Wage.org. Business can pay some full-time students no less than 90 percent of the minimum wage.

4. 55-year Minimum Wage History
The federal minimum wage was first instituted nationwide in 1938 at an hourly rate of $0.25, according to the North Carolina Labor website. The rate slowly grew to $1 an hour by 1956.

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North Carolina’s state Legislature didn’t enact a state minimum wage until 1960, when it set the state’s minimum wage at $0.75 an hour. The Legislature bumped the rate to $0.85 an hour in 1964 and $1 an hour in 1966. However, the state minimum wage remained smaller than the federal wage until 1972, when the state rate caught up to the U.S. rate at $1.60 an hour.

The next year, North Carolina’s Legislature increased the state’s rate again to $1.80 an hour, which exceeded the federal rate for the first time. The state’s minimum wage continued growing, reaching $2.75 an hour in 1980, $3.35 in 1990, and $5.15 in 1997. The rate was hiked to $6.15 in 2007, $6.55 in 2008, and the current $7.25 rate in 2009.

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North Carolina has not yet become engulfed in the divisive minimum wage debate - though the controversial issue is beginning to gain traction in the Tar Heel State.
minimum wage, North Carolina, facts
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2016-21-23
Saturday, 23 Jan 2016 02:21 AM
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