$13/hour minimum wage would help 1.4 million Ohioans
Posted January 30, 2020 in Press Releases
New analysis released today by Policy Matters Ohio shows that if Ohioans vote to increase the state’s minimum wage to $13 an hour by 2025, 1.4 million Ohioans will be better able to put food on the table, pay for rent and afford the basic costs of living.
Ohio’s minimum wage is $8.70. It adjusts every year if the cost of living increases because in 2006 Ohio voters decided to raise the minimum wage and index it to inflation. The Policy Matters analysis shows that Ohio’s minimum wage peaked in 1968 and today would be worth about $12 an hour. Today, a full-time worker paid the minimum wage would have to work an extra four months to make what their counterpart did in 1968.
“Everyone who works should be able to live a decent life, but that’s not the reality for many Ohioans,” report author and Policy Matters Researcher Michael Shields said. “Too many Ohioans are paid so little that they can’t support themselves and their families.”
Someone who works full-time and earns minimum wage makes just over $18,000 a year. That’s $3,600 short of the poverty level for a family of three. Many of Ohio’s most common jobs pay at or near the minimum wage. Six out of Ohio’s 10 most common jobs pay so little that a working person supporting a family of three would need food assistance to get by. More than 41% of the Ohioans who will be helped by the ballot initiative work at restaurants and food preparation or retail. These industries employ 19% of all Ohio workers.
The wage increase would have a profound effect on Ohio’s families, the analysis shows. Adults over the age of 20 account for nearly 88% of people who would benefit. More than 525,000 Ohio children live in homes where at least one adult would get paid more fairly for the work they do.
“All Ohioans need and deserve to be paid fairly for the work they do,” Shields said. “Discrimination and segregation have allowed employers to pay women and people of color less. Raising the wage will take important steps to address longstanding racial and gender inequality in Ohio.”
One-third of working women in Ohio will get a raise as will 40% of Ohio’s black workers and 44% of Latinx workers. Nevertheless, 74% of the Ohioans who will benefit are white.
“Raising our state’s minimum wage will benefit workers of all walks of life, who work hard and deserve to earn enough to cover the basics,” Shields said. “Restoring the minimum wage to the value it had half a century ago is something all Ohioans should support.”
See below for more facts on the proposed $13 an hour minimum wage.
- A $13 minimum wage by 2025 would raise the wages of more than 1.4 million Ohio workers, including 1 million directly impacted workers and over 400,000 indirectly impacted workers.
- A $13 minimum wage by 2025 (worth $11.50 in today’s dollars) is in line with Ohio’s historic minimum wage, valued at $12 per hour in 1968.
- The 2020 ballot initiative is in line with past Ohio wage initiatives: it would raise the minimum wage 32.2%, compared with the 33.0% increase in 2006. The five-step increase means this policy would give employers more time to adjust to the change.
- Three of the five people who would be helped would be women: voting to increase the minimum wage would ensure that both men and women receive a fair return on their work.
- The minimum wage would help to reverse black workers’ wages that have been held down over the last four decades.
- Adults aged 20+ account for 87.7% of all workers who would benefit, some 1.26 million workers. Working parents outnumber teens two to one.
- Retaining the inflation index protects low-wage workers from wage devaluation through policy neglect. Indexing ensures the minimum wage retains value over time.