Why Minneapolis Needs a $15 Minimum Wage

Two recent op-eds in local journals highlight the growing support for $15/hour Minimum Wage in Minneapolis.

In the Southwest Journal, Claire Thiele writes:

“Real life is more complicated. Though the $15 minimum wage isn’t a true panacea (it’s real and possible to implement for one thing) it is about as close as one economic policy can be. Right now, low-wage workers are serving as the over-tired, under-resourced foundation of our economy. They are struggling hard. Statewide increases in the minimum wage have helped, but not enough. Roughly 42 percent of jobs in Minneapolis don’t pay enough to support a family of four.”

And “We Deserve a Raise: Minneapolis Poverty Data shows Southside needs $15 Now” published in the Southside Pride highlights the dramatic impact $15/hour would have on South Minneapolis:

“For a quick survey of the problem we can start out looking at Southside neighborhoods and zip codes. The 55406, 55407 and 55408 zip codes all have poverty rates above 33%, with 55408 approaching 50%. Powderhorn, Phillips and Central neighborhood households have incomes below $35,000 per year at rates from 37% to as high as 71% in West Phillips.

In Minneapolis, Black, Latino and American-Indian families are three times as likely as whites to be living in poverty. Single women head two-thirds of Minneapolis families in poverty. There is no single measure that would close the racial and gender equity gaps like raising the minimum wage to $15/hour. Estimates show that with a new $15-per-hour wage, over a third of Minneapolis workers would get a raise.