ASK THE CANDIDATES: How will you address raising the minimum wage so North Carolina families can afford the basics?

  • It takes $16.20 an hour for a family to afford the basics. Will you support raising the state’s minimum wage to at least $15/hour by 2022?
  • If no, what do you think the minimum wage should be, and how else should a family make up the difference between what their job pays them and what they need to survive?

North Carolina needs to create jobs that pay workers enough to afford the basics for themselves and their families. Raising the minimum wage would provide a critical antidote to the ongoing boom in low-wage work.



  • North Carolina’s minimum wage is the same as the nation’s—$7.25 an hour. Twenty-nine other states have raised their wage above the national floor, including states like Nebraska, Arkansas, South Dakota, and Missouri.
  • According to the Living Income Standard—a market-based assessment of what it takes to make ends meet—a family with one adult and one child needs to earn $38,488 per year ($18.50/hr) to afford the basics.
  • At the current state minimum wage, a full-time minimum-wage worker earns approximately $15,080 per year. This is approximately $1,000 less than the federal poverty level for 2019 for a family of one adult and one child, and more than $23,000 less than what it truly takes to make ends meet, according to the LIS.
  • An estimated 1.6 million workers in NC would benefit from raising the minimum wage to $15/hr, including almost 1 million women.
  • Forty-five percent (720,000) of the workers who would benefit from raisin the wage to $15 are people of color.
  • Ninety percent (1.4 million) of the people who would benefit from raising the wage to $15 are older than 20, and another 750,000 children will benefit from their parents’ raises.
  • Raising the minimum wage helps the economy save jobs by boosting consumer spending, reducing employee turnover, and increasing business sales.