The week of November 15th-21st is International Living Wage Week! Living Wage Week is a big deal in countries like the UK, and Just Economics is excited to partner with the National Living Wage Network and Living Wage for US to bring Living Wage Week to the United States in a big way.
During Living Wage Week in the US, a new national living wage certification will launch and work together with local programs around the country to continue to raise the wage floor. In communities around the country, there will be an emphasis on highlighting and supporting local Living Wage Certified businesses and a series of events to continue the dialogue about why living wages are an important part of a thriving economy.
Just Economics will be participating in a national online event to launch living wage week in the US and talk about Living Wage Places. You can join us for this free event on Monday, November 15th at 5pm Eastern Time by using this registration link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_SZnWRlltRsCvTTKLCzEugw
Just Economics operates the largest voluntary living wage certification program in the United States, with over 400 Living Wage Certified businesses across WNC. At the end of each year, we calculate the Living Wage rates for Buncombe County and for the rural parts of WNC. We educate the community about the costs of living in WNC and the importance of living wages in our region and beyond.
Just Economics defines our living wage as the minimum amount that an individual working full time must earn to afford their basic necessities, without public or private assistance. In short, a living wage is a more just minimum wage, and truly just a starting place for employers to put in place a more reasonable wage floor than the minimum wage, which has been stagnant for over 12 years.
There are Living Wage programs advocating for higher wages in communities around the country. Living Wage week is an opportunity to celebrate this work and the living wage businesses who are prioritizing wages and investing in people to build stronger local economies and a higher standard of living for their employees.
Living Wages are critically important now more than ever. Recently released Census Bureau data shows that more than 37 million people in America lived at or below the federal poverty line in 2020. The Federal minimum wage has been stuck at $7.25/ hour for 12 years since 2009. People working minimum wage jobs full-time cannot afford a two-bedroom apartment in any state in the country according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s 2021 Out of Reach report.
You can celebrate Living Wage Week by talking about living wages and taking action.
This Living wage week, we invite you to get involved in a few ways:
- Sign the pledge to support Living Wage Businesses this week.
- Register for the free online event to launch Living Wage Week in the US here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_SZnWRlltRsCvTTKLCzEugw
- Shout out your favorite Living wage Certified Businesses on social media with the hashtag #livingwageweek.
- Invite your favorite local businesses to become Living Wage Certified. It’s easy and it makes a big impact in the community.
- Contact your representatives about raising the minimum wage!