Friday, September 26, 2014

Work That Doesn't Pay a Living Wage is Not A Job

Jobless rates dropped in all 120 Kentucky counties From August 2013 to August 2014.

Could mean more people got jobs. Could mean more people gave up looking and dropped out of the workforce.

But it probably means that some people gave up finding a real job that pays enough to live on, and accepted work at the serf-rate of minimum wage.

Because anything less than the $20 an hour minimum wage should be if it matched the increase in productivity over the last 30 years is plain exploitation.

Sebastian Kitchen at the Courier:
Increasing the minimum wage in Jefferson County would help more than one in five workers, according to a report released Tuesday.

More workers who are 50 or older would benefit than teenagers and 92 percent of those who would benefit are at least 20 years old, according to the report by the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy.
Fifty-three percent of those who would benefit are women and 75 percent are white.

Jason Bailey, director of the center, said they included more than just those who were between the current federal minimum of $7.25 an hour and the proposed $10.10 an hour because they expect some people at $11.50 or below to also receive a pay increase.

The center released the report on Tuesday as the Metro Council began work on a proposal to gradually raise the wage to $10.10 by July 1, 2017. The key sponsor, Councilwoman Attica Scott, made a push at local coffee shop and restaurant Smokey's Bean with U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, a Louisville Democrat.

The Metro Council's Labor and Economic Development Committee held the first of at least three meetings on the proposal on Tuesday, when Republicans questioned some of the rosy findings in the Kentucky Center report.

Fourteen cities and counties have passed local minimum wage rates higher than the federal level, Bailey said.

"Those cities are still on the map," Scott, D-1st District, said and denounced "doomsday" talk about businesses leaving the community.

Bailey said studies of other areas indicate there is no adverse effect on employment such as the number of jobs in the market or on businesses leaving the community.

"Jobs don't flee to adjacent jurisdictions," Yarmuth said.

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