By: - November 30, 2015 6:45 am


14—number of days since Wake County Commissioners adopted a policy guaranteeing county employees a living wage (“Wake OKs ‘living wage’ for county workers,” WRAL-TV, November 16, 2015)

13.50—amount in dollars of the new hourly minimum wage paid to Wake County workers after the adoption of the new living wage guarantee (Ibid)

8—number of other communities in North Carolina that have living-wage ordinances for public sector workers (Ibid)

2,800—amount in dollars that wage of public sector workers in North Carolina have fallen overall since 2009  (“The Power of wage policies: How raising public sector wages can promote living incomes and boost North Carolina’s economy, N.C. Justice Center, November 2015)

50—minimum percentage of median wage that economists agree a wage floor should reflect in a given labor market. (“The State of Working North Carolina 2015,” N.C. Justice Center)

7.25—amount in dollars of the current hourly minimum wage (Ibid)

8.80—amount in dollars of a minimum wage that would be 50 percent of median wage in North Carolina (Ibid)

16.21—amount in dollars of the hourly wage it takes to make ends meet—buying groceries, paying the rent, putting gas in the car, etc.–according to a calculation of the Living Wage Standard done every two years by the N.C. Budget & Tax Center (Ibid)

65—percentage increase in worker productivity from 1979-2013 (Ibid)

8.2—percentage increase in wages from 1979-2013 (Ibid)

153.6—percentage increase in wages for the top 1 percent from 1979-2013 (Ibid)

5.8—percentage increase in productivity in North Carolina during the ongoing recovery from the Great Recession (Ibid)

3—percentage decrease in wages in North Carolina during the ongoing recovery from the Great Recession (Ibid)

29—number of states that had minimum wages higher than the current $7.25 federal minimum wage as of January 1, 2015 (Ibid)

1.3 million—number of North Carolinians who would be impacted by an increase in the minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2020 (Ibid)

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Chris Fitzsimon

Chris Fitzsimon, Founder and Executive Director of N.C. Policy Watch, writes the Fitzsimon File, delivers a radio commentary broadcast on WRAL-FM and hosts "News and Views," a weekly radio news magazine that airs on multiple stations across North Carolina. [email protected] 919-861-2066