Why a living wage?

Income inequality and poverty are on the rise.

  • The richest 5% of Durham County’s households have an average income that is 27 times greater than the poorest fifth of household.
  • Nearly one in five Durham residents lives in poverty.
  • Over half of the renters cannot afford fair market rent for a two-bedroom unit. 
    Find an economic snapshot of Durham here.

The recent Recovery from the Great Recession has not felt like a "recovery" for many North Carolina communities, with too few jobs for job-seekers, and many of the available jobs paying too little to make ends meet.

The North Carolina and federal wage minimum wage levels of $7.25/hour don’t let families earn enough to make ends meet.

When workers don’t make enough to make ends meet, families, communities and the economy suffer.

  • Low-income earners tend to spend a larger proportion of earnings in the local economy, providing a stimulus effect.
  • The estimated GDP impact of a minimum wage increase to $10.10, for example, would be approximately $1.3 billion in North Carolina.

A Living Wage: Good for Business, Good for Workers!

  • For employers, paying a living wage can mean lower turnover, a more motivated workforce, and the increased goodwill of the community.
  • For employees, a living wage is an opportunity to move from poverty toward meeting basic needs.

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