It’s Getting Harder to Find a Job that Pays the Cost of Living in Texas

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As Texans, we pride ourselves on working hard and being self-sufficient. But too few workers are able to earn enough to support themselves and their families. From 1979 to 2014, the share of low-wage jobs grew by 15.5 percent in Texas. At the same time, the share of jobs that paid middle wages dropped more than 10 percent.

According to the CPPP Family Budget Calculator, the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour does not provide enough to cover an individual’s most basic living expenses in Texas. The estimates below show the hourly wages that are necessary for Texas families to meet basic living expenses. If we want to live in a state where hard work means real self-sufficiency, then we need to raise the minimum wage in Texas.

It’s time to raise the minimum wage in Texas

If we would have raised the minimum wage in 2016, 2.4 million (26% of) workers in both for-profit and non-profit sectors would have gotten a pay increase. Of those who would have benefitted from this increase, 60% are in their prime working years, 50% live in households with children, and 43% have at least some college education.

In other words, it’s high time for lawmakers to raise the minimum wage to give low-wage workers more access to better-paying middle-class jobs. Even better? Repeal the state law that prohibits local municipalities from setting their own wage standards, and encourage those municipalities to create living wage standards that are in line with their own costs of living.

Learn more about why Texas needs a minimum wage increase and what our policy recommendations would be here.

As Director of the Economic Opportunity Program at the Center for Public Policy Priorities, Groves leads a team of policy analysts that strive to increase educational attainment and ensure economic prosperity for all Texans. Before joining the Center in 2014, Groves served as a Senior Policy Analyst at the National Governors Association where he worked with state and local entities on workforce, post-secondary education and economic development policy. He has served governors, senior policy advisors and local leaders on several initiatives designed to bolster talent development pipelines and align educational institutions, training programs and community-based organizations with employer needs and state economic development strategies. Preceding his work at the NGA Center, Groves oversaw the rigorous evaluation of education and training programs in the Office of Policy Development and Research at the U.S. Department of Labor, including random assignment evaluations of the YouthBuild program, Community-Based Job Training Grants and the ARRA High Growth and Emerging Industries grantees. He also served at various levels of Colorado state government, including the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the Joint Budget Committee of the General Assembly, and the Office of the Lieutenant Governor. He received his master’s degree in public affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver.

1 Comment

  • Is there a bill filed this year to raise the minimum wage in Texas that I can contact my representative and senator about? And is there an organization in Texas working to raise the minimum wage that I can support?


    LizH 20.03.2017

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