Yakima County released a report on the state of their economy and the data says what we’ve been saying all along - Yakima needs a raise.
In Yakima nearly 55% of workers work in industries like: food service, retail, social assistance, agriculture, or health care. When more than half of the workers in a county are working jobs that pay low wages, you know that an increase in the minimum wage would be beneficial for everyone.
With higher wages workers and their families could have a chance to meet their needs and maybe even plan for a future.
Right now more than half of the people living in Yakima County pay more than 30% of their income in rent and the median rent price is $771. It would take an hourly wage of $14.82/hr working full-time to actually afford that.
Here’s another fact from the report: 90% of the new jobs in Yakima County were in those industries that are paying their workers too little. These are the jobs that are available and besides that no matter what job someone has they deserve to be paid enough to support themselves, afford the basics, and contribute to the economy.
Yakima needs a raise and that’s why we are knocking on doors, meeting with elected officials, and gathering signatures to get a higher statewide minimum wage on the ballot. $13.50 isn’t enough, (neither is $15) but it is a step forward and when we win the first question we are going to ask is “what’s next?”