Who Are Pennsylvania’s Minimum Wage Workers?

When we think of the stereotype of the minimum wage worker many people imagine a teenager, who lives at home, works part-time, and has no real expenses.  Reality is very different.  Let’s take a look at the Pennsylvanians who would benefit from a higher minimum wage.  

37 – the average age of a minimum wage worker.

60% are women.

25% have children.

55% work full-time.

And, on average, minimum wage workers bring home 49% of their families income. 

We can, and we must, raise the minimum wage.  Today, low-wage workers earn less per hour than their counterparts did 50 years ago. The productivity of the American workforce has nearly doubled in the last five decades, and if that productivity growth had equaled wage growth the minimum wage would be more than $20 an hour today. 

Because of the rigged economic system, many skilled jobs that are considered middle-class jobs, are not making middle-class, family-sustaining wages.  A $15 an hour minimum wage would give 30% of manufacturing workers and 20% of construction workers a raise.  The median wage of people who care for our ill family members and our children are under $15 an hour: preschool teachers ($13.84), substitute teachers ($13.47), nursing assistants ($12.78), and home health aides ($10.87).  Our communities, our Commonwealth, and our country rely on workers whose labor has for too long been taken for granted. 

Let’s continue the fight for $15 and a UNION.