Tags: Biden Administration | Financial Markets | Minimum Wage | mike rowe | dirty jobs | unskilled | labor

Mike Rowe: Minimum Wage Jobs 'Rungs on a Ladder'

a woman reaches into a bar to make submarine sandwiches
(Reed Saxon/AP)

Tuesday, 13 April 2021 09:55 PM

As Congress continues to debate raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour, former "Dirty Jobs" host Mike Rowe says those jobs were never intended to be careers, but "rungs on a ladder" to success.

"I want everybody who works hard and plays fair to prosper," Rowe said in a recent appearance on Fox Business Network. "I want everybody to be able to support themselves. But if you just pull the money out of midair you're going to create other problems. Like there is a ladder of success that people climb, and some of those jobs that are out there for $7, $8, $9 an hour, in my view, they're simply not intended to be careers."

"They're not intended to be full-time jobs. They're rungs on a ladder," Rowe said.

Rowe has long advocated for more people to pursue careers in high-paying skilled jobs such as plumbers and electricians that have had trouble finding enough workers as most high school graduates continue their education seeking college degrees, even though many of those career fields are shrinking.

Low-skilled, low-paying jobs, he said, "are ways for people to get experience in the workforce doing a thing that might not necessarily pay you as much as you'd like, but nevertheless serves a real purpose," he said.

"I worry that the path to a skilled trade can be compromised when you offer an artificially high wage for, I hate the expression, but an unskilled job," he added. "So, to me, the brightest line needs to be drawn between skilled and unskilled work. We need to encourage more people to learn a skill that's actually in demand."

Roe for years hosted the TV show "Dirty Jobs" where he took on unseen, but vital jobs.

The House-approved minimum wage language in its version of the COVID relief bill earlier this year, which would gradually raise the federal floor to $15 an hour by 2025, more than double the $7.25 in place since 2009.

But the Senate parliamentarian said that provision would have to be deleted, and the effort to include it failed.

Raising the minimum wage has broad support among Democrats, but Republicans oppose it. Attaching it to other legislation hurts its support with moderate Democrats in the Senate such as Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz.

With a 50-50 split in the Senate, Democrats need their votes.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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As Congress continues to debate raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour, former "Dirty Jobs" host Mike Rowe says those jobs were never intended to be careers, but "rungs on a ladder" to success.
mike rowe, dirty jobs, unskilled, labor, income, work, employment
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2021-55-13
Tuesday, 13 April 2021 09:55 PM
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