A press conference held March 8, 2017 by North Carolina legislators and Raising Wages NC, a growing coalition of workers groups, advocates, businesses and faith leaders ,announced new legislation that would increase the NC’s minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $12 an hour by 2020; and $15 an hour by 2022.
Twenty one states along with North Carolina maintain the federal minimum wage level. Senator Joyce Waddell and Senate Democrats, sponsored Senate Bill 210, Living Wage By 2022, to assist more than 120,000 citizens surviving on the current minimum wage.
Women make up more than two-thirds of all workers that earn the minimum wage. These women are also heads of households. The poverty level for a single person is $11,770 and these women and other minimum wage workers earn an estimated annual salary of only $14,000. Raising the minimum wage would benefit nearly 1.3 million citizens, which is one-third of North Carolina’s workforce, and the state’s overall economy.
“The state’s current minimum wage does not provide enough income for impoverished families to survive on. We must free our hard-working citizens from the cycle of poverty. Women should be able to afford necessities and experience economic independence. This legislation would benefit workers and businesses in Senate District 40 and North Carolina as it drives the consumer demand and helps create more jobs in the economy,” said Senator Joyce Waddell.