Recently one of Georgia’s congressional candidates stated that she does not “support a living wage.” Many states and local governments have enacted measures increasing the minimum wage to reflect a “living wage”, often established at $15/hour. A living wage is considered a wage that is high enough to maintain a “normal” standard of living.
The congressional candidate is opposed to to increasing minimum wage so that it reflects a “living wage.” Currently, Georgia’s minimum wage is $5.15/hour, although the federal minimum wage of $7.25 applies in most cases. Supporters note that Georgia workers earning just minimum wage struggle to make ends meet. According to the Living Wage Calculator, the minimum livable wage for a single adult in the particular district is $12.01 per hour.
In addition to helping an individual worker’s bottom line by increasing how much money he or she takes home each pay period, statistics show a broad range of benefits to communities with higher minimum wages. As workers make more money, they will have more money to spend, thus spurring on the growth of local economies. Additionally, studies have shown positive effects on the health and happiness on children when the minimum wage is increased. According to one study, “more than 60 million people, including more than 15 million children, live in households that depend on the earnings of a low-wage worker, 35 percent of whom are caring for children at home.” When parents’ low wages are increased, studies hose decreased childhood stress, improved relationship and better chances at upward mobility.
As Atlanta wage and hour attorneys, we support efforts to increase worker’s wages. For more information or to answer your wage and hour questions, please contact our Georgia FLSA attorneys at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate case evaluation.