The Economic Policy Institute argues that low wages are particularly harmful to workers of color. A $15 minimum wage would represent a pay raise fo 31% of African Americans and 26% of Latinos. The Congressional Budget Office estimated in 2019 that a $15 an hour wage would raise the pay rate for 17 million workers—but that it could cost 1.3 million jobs. Major business groups have opposed the move, as have Republicans who have stymied efforts by congressional Democrats to lift the national minimum wage to $15. To compare the cost of living in every state and Washington D.C. to the minimum wage, Stacker consulted the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Living Wage Calculator. The tool aggregates child care, food, housing, and other living costs into a living wage dependent upon family composition. For the statistics chosen, the calculator assumes that all adults are working full time (2,080 hours a year). Data is recent as of 2020.
As the federal government remains stalled, individual states are moving forward. California was the first state to raise the minimum to $15 an hour (by 2023). In states with their own minimum wage laws, workers have a right to the higher of the two established wages.
You may also like: Industries with the highest rates of workplace injuries Keep reading to see how the minimum wage in your home state compares to the cost of living.
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