The Economic Perspective: “What to Do about Low Wage Jobs?”

This is Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program asks, what can we do about low wage jobs.  Mike, a recent report estimates 44% of workers aged 18-64 earn only $10 an hour.  How can this issue be addressed?


Mike:  Summary Answer

  • First – not bad if entry job, or worker has other income sources, like retirement pensions or Social Security
  • Of course, could raise the minimum wage – concern is if employers will turn to higher wage workers or automation
  • Want to look at safety net programs, like food stamps, Medicaid, are available – but make sure reductions in those programs occurring as worker earns more is less than dollar for dollar
  • Ultimate answer is having these workers acquire skills that will enable them to earn more
  • 2 year and 4-year education options
  • I’m MW


Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics