A $15 minimum wage would help millions of struggling households in small and mid-sized cities achieve self-sufficiency

In a new report, Brookings argues that raising the wage floor can not only help reduce poverty, but it can also support individual and family self-sufficiency—the ability to cover living expenses without relying on public subsidies. They found that for a large share of the U.S. population, wages leave them short of self-sufficiency. As of 2019 (the latest data available), 37% of U.S. households—38 million overall—did not earn a pre-tax, pre-transfer wage that allowed them to make ends meet, including 14 million households with children. Owing to historical racial injustices and structural inequities, 47% of Black households and 50% of Latino or Hispanic households struggle to make ends meet. To understand more precisely how the minimum wage or other policies might alleviate these challenges, we estimate a “family-sustaining wage” threshold for each metro area that would help lift half of its struggling households into self-sufficiency. #workforce #racialequity

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