Can't Survive on $7.25: Higher Minimum Wages for Working Wisconsin
For 15 years, Wisconsin’s minimum wage has been stuck at the federal minimum level of $7.25, which has not been raised since 2009. A higher and well enforced minimum wage helps build a floor that allows workers, employers, and our communities to thrive. In this report, we offer a picture of who wins in Wisconsin with higher minimum wages and some reasons to support higher labor standards for the state. A stronger floor is necessary and possible in Wisconsin. Workers can’t survive on $7.25. It is time to raise the floor.
In celebration of Wisconsin workers, COWS releases The State of Working Wisconsin 2023 with the most recent data available on wages, jobs, disparities, and unions to build a stronger understanding of what is going on in the state’s labor market.
The union manufacturing jobs that once flourished in Milwaukee have since been replaced by low-wage, non-union service jobs, exacerbating racial and economic disparities. Properly addressing the impact of this shift starts with restructuring the city’s service sector.
Strong community benefit agreements are the most certain and robust way for communities to obtain real and lasting returns from large-scale private developments such as the proposed Iron District in Milwaukee.
COWS High Road Strategy Center in the News
“Wisconsin is part of a shrinking number of states using the federal standard to establish the wage floor,” COWS associate director and report co-author Laura Dresser said in a press release. “And while many workers have seen raises in recent years, we show that a stronger wage floor would reach hundreds of thousands of workers in the state.”October 20, 2023
“This is a very pressing issue for many people in Wisconsin,” said Laura Dresser of the Center for Wisconsin Strategy, which has published “Can’t Survive on $7.25,” a report that explores the impact and issues of low wages for Wisconsinites.October 20, 2023
“With a minimum wage of just $7.25, Wisconsin is part of a shrinking number of states using the federal standard to establish the wage floor,” said Laura Dresser, report author and Associate Director of COWS. “And while many workers have seen raises in recent years, we show that a stronger wage floor would reach hundreds of thousands of workers in the state.”October 20, 2023