We often hear of job growth, but what we don’t hear is whether these jobs pay a living wage. Amendment 2 would raise the minimum wage in Florida to $15 over six years. Twenty-seven states have raised their minimum wage since 2014.
What is a living wage? AAUW Florida recently commissioned studies on the economic security of Florida retired, Hispanic, and Black women. These studies use realistic estimates of living expenses based on locality and family type, and include some retirement and emergency savings. Many of these women are not economically secure.
A single mother with one preschooler and one child in school, in a job without benefits, needs $60,420 annually, not including extras such as Internet, which is almost a necessity for that student. Our studies found that women of color tend to be concentrated in such occupations. The current minimum wage provides only $17,800 annually.
How can she survive on $8.56 per hour? Food stamps, friends and family, a second job, and skimping. An hourly wage of $15 might enable her to skimp less, improving the health and security of her family.
But won’t a $15 minimum wage destroy jobs and businesses? Not according to numerous economic studies. Check out the myths and facts about minimum wage increases at https://bit.ly/30xD2WW.
AAUW members and branches: Click the link below for more talking points on Amendment 2.