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Issue 1

September 27th, 2019

NC wages needs change

TUES. | 04-27-21 | OPINION

     Throughout the years, minimum wage in the U.S. has been changing and, for the most part, increasing. As of right now, the minimum wage for North Carolina is $7.25 per hour. On the other hand, the District of Columbia has a minimum wage of $15 per hour. I think that every state should increase their rates of minimum wage together instead of some states rising dramatically and some staying the same for years. I am not saying that every state should have the same minimum wage but I do think that if one state is going to increase their rate, they all should.

     Although I’m not an economic expert, I understand that there are different ways of consuming and producing in every state, but the notion that every area of a state should have the same minimum wage is ridiculous. Going back to the minimum wage of California being $14 per hour, there is an abundance of cities that are not as urban

or busy as Los Angeles and San Francisco. I seriously doubt that these rural areas in California have the same cost of living as the big cities. I think it would be more efficient and fair to base minimum wage off of the urbanization of where people intend on getting a job.

It would be more efficient and fair to b

Graphic by Tierney Reardon

     After the 2021 minimum wage increase, North Carolina is one of the 18 states that has the lowest minimum wage in the country at $7.25. These states that are using the $7.25 federal minimum wage have not increased their minimum wage since 2009. The federal minimum wage standard is a minimum set in place by the government to establish the lowest a business is allowed to pay their employees all over the country. If these 18 states are using the federal minimum wage, why isn’t every state using it? It would definitely cause too much of an uproar to have all states use the same minimum wage now considering how different they are. It is weird to me that a gap  this large between states minimum wage has been developed over the years.

     Even though not every state uses the federal minimum wage, there has however been a change to increase the federal minimum wage standard during 2021. The Raise the Wage Act of 2021 was introduced by the House of Representatives on Jan. 26. This act is said to gradually increase the federal minimum wage standard to $15 per hour by 2025. This increase is very much long overdue considering the federal wage has not changed in 12 years. Considering the number of years the federal minimum wage has not been adjusted, Economic Policy Institute has said that “A full-time federal minimum wage worker today earns 18% less than what their counterpart earned at the time of the last increase, after adjusting for rising costs of living.” The act was desperately needed considering most people that have a low paying job don’t have the resources or experience to find a higher paying job above minimum wage.

     Along with the increase, there are also conditions that limit a person’s wage no matter what state they live in. For example, California does technically have a minimum wage of $14 per hour, however, that only applies to businesses that have 26 or more employees. Businesses with 25 or less employees receive a minimum wage of $13 per hour instead. This just doesn’t seem right to me. From my point of view, these businesses with fewer employees require the employees they do have to manage a heavier workload than places with an abundance of workers.

     This new change in the federal minimum wage will go a long way even if it is a gradual increase. I personally would like to see an increase in North Carolina wage because I was even planning on getting a job this summer and would like my paychecks to be worth it.

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