Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wages of lowest paid declined most in N.C.

Just in time for President Barack Obama's big jobs speech tonight, the N.C. Justice Center has released a new report showing the lowest-paid workers in North Carolina have seen the starkest decline in wage earnings over the last decade. The report, released this morning as part of “The State of Working North Carolina” series, shows that making sure that workers are paid adequately for all of the hours they work is vital for family and community well-being, officials at the advocacy and research center said.

“An adequate wage provides the stability that allows employees to support their families, make meaningful contributions to their communities and society, and remain reliable and productive employees,” said Sabine Schoenbach, a N.C. Justice Center public policy analyst and author of the report.

According to the report, from 2000 to 2010, the inflation adjusted wages of the lowest-wage workers decreased by over 1 percent, translating to a loss of approximately $230 for families, the equivalent of twelve days’ worth of food for a family of four. The report also finds that nearly 35 percent of all North Carolina’s working families earned low incomes in 2009, meaning that they earned 200 percent or less of the federal poverty level. Due to the state’s high unemployment rate, low-wage workers rarely have the opportunity to find better-paying jobs, resulting in more and more families relying on inadequate low-wage earnings. Ensuring a family-supporting wage could significantly, positively impact North Carolina’s struggling economy, the report states. Paying workers adequate wages would boost consumer spending, as low-income working families tend to spend their wages on basic needs at local businesses. Fair wages also reduce employee turnover, which in turn saves employers money by reducing the costs of recruitment and retraining. Workers deserve the most basic protections, the report states, such as minimum wage, overtime pay, and the assurance that workers will be paid for all of the hours they work.

“Work has value, and those who work and contribute to society and the economy should be able to earn wages sufficient to meet a basic level of subsistence,” Schoenbach said. “Updating wage standards for today’s reality and ensuring that all workers are paid a fair wage are essential not only for families struggling to make ends meet but for the state’s struggling economic recovery.”

5 comments:

Courtesy_Flush said...

I wonder if anyone at the Justice Center read the article about the children who worked in the mills in the early 1900's. They were as young as 10 years old doing work that adults later took over. Clue: If you are an adult in a job that could be (and was) performed by a 10 year old...that is not job security. Quit making babies that you won't be able to support and get an education that would qualify you to be something (anything) other than a day laborer. You'll be doing everyone a favor, most importantly yourself.

Wiley Coyote said...

“An adequate wage provides the stability that allows employees to support their families, make meaningful contributions to their communities and society, and remain reliable and productive employees,” said Sabine Schoenbach, a N.C. Justice Center public policy analyst and author of the report.

How does this "justice center" propose to force a company to pay what THEy feel workers should be paid?

Your "fair wage" is the same as socialism, in that the company doesn't decide what the market will bear for wages, government will do that for them.

Fire Coach K said...

Paying someone a wage that enables them to survive and support their family is not "socialism." The radical right won't be satisfied until the U.S. is an oligarchy (or more of one than it already is). How Christian of them.

Wiley Coyote said...

OK Coach K hater, tell us how much everyone that has a job should make? What do you consider a "living wage", even though costs vary by geography, job type and should family size be a factor?

$50K a year?
$100K a year?

Who determines the wage?

What if a company decides to move out of the country and basically gives the US Government the bird on the way out?

Just as you ASSumed something about me, I'll do the same about you.

No wonder you are for this as you're one of the 51% who pay no Federal taxes and probably live off the Feds anyway.

How's that?

Baixiong said...

Does this have anything to do with the illegal immigrant influx in the last decade?

Anyone care to investigate that?