Hourly Workers Have Spoken: Their Wages Aren’t Enough

By Kat


The fight to raise the minimum wage in the country continues. While many giant corporations have made pledges to raise their own starting wages for workers, a federal mandate has yet to be approved. This, causing a divide amongst the nation as many are making the argument that minimum wage should be raised to a livable wage, while others argue that minimum wage ‘jobs’ are not meant to be able to live on, and are just meant for those interested in a side hustle. 

In the heat of the pandemic, a light was shed on workers in many industries, from healthcare to fast food, who ended up working longer shifts with staff shortages. While the pandemic brought on many strifes in the workplace, it did allow people to realize that being open about wages, time off, and other benefits can help Americans figure out if they’re being treated unfairly and what to not stand for. 

A survey out by United Way asked Americans about working during the pandemic and any differences they saw in their wages. 

It’s no surprise that medical/healthcare workers saw an increase in wages after the pandemic, but other industries that saw an increase included hotel/food services, retail, and tourism/hospitality. However, across industries, 58% of survey respondents said they felt like their current earnings were not fair, and 63% of those that shared this sentiment came from the medical/healthcare industry.

So what does this mean in the fight for a higher minimum wage? It’s clear that certain industries saw increases due to their demand over the past 2 years. However, this still isn’t enough. More mental demand will be placed upon workers until they feel 100% appreciated and backed financially. Americans should not be worried about where they plan to sleep or eat that night after working a long day’s shift. As a nation, we must do better.

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