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.