Momentum is building behind raising the minimum wage, coming at a time when workers at all pay levels are struggling with keeping their heads above water. According to a new CareerBuilder survey, 64 percent of employers believe the minimum wage should be increased in their state, up from 62 percent last year.
While nearly 1 in 5 of all workers (19 percent) said they couldn’t make ends meet every month in the last year, workers who hold or have held minimum wage jobs were much more prone to experience financial difficulties.
“Americans’ wages have been stuck in a slow-growth pattern since the recession,” said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder. “As big name brands take measures to increase pay for minimum wage workers and the market overall grows more competitive for skilled labor, employers are going to start feeling more wage pressure when trying to attract and retain employees at all levels within the organization.”
The national online survey, conducted on behalf of CareerBuilder by Harris Poll between May 14 and June 3, 2015, included a representative sample of 2,321 full-time hiring and human resource managers and 3,039 full-time workers in the private sector across industries and company sizes.
What is fair minimum wage?
Twenty-six percent of employers said they plan to hire minimum wage workers this year. Only six percent of all employers believe the federal minimum wage ($7.25 per hour) is fair. The majority (61 percent) felt a fair minimum wage is $10 or more per hour, up from 54 percent last year; and 11 percent said a fair minimum wage is $15 or more per hour, up from 7 percent last year.
The full breakdown of what employers consider to be a fair minimum wage is as follows:
- $7.25 per hour: 6 percent
- $8.00-$9.00 per hour: 24 percent
- $10.00 per hour: 27 percent
- $11.00-14.00 per hour: 23 percent
- $15.00 or more per hour: 11 percent
- No set minimum wage: 9 percent
Of workers who currently have a minimum wage job or have held one in the past, 65 percent said they couldn’t make ends meet; 49 percent said they had to work more than one job to make ends meet.
But it’s not just minimum wage workers who are struggling. Nineteen percent of workers at all salary levels were not able to make ends meet during the past year. Sixty-five percent of all workers say they’re in debt and while most say it’s manageable, it should be noted that 16 percent of workers ages 25-34 still live with their parents, 18 percent of all workers have reduced their 401k contribution and/or personal savings in the last year and 28 percent don’t set aside any savings each month.
Percentage of workers who didn’t set aside money for savings in the last year:
Ages 18-24: 32 percent
25-34: 26 percent
35-44: 31 percent
45-54: 29 percent
55+: 24 percent
Total: 28 percent
Percentage of workers who don’t participate in retirement plans:
Ages 18-24: 69 percent
25-34: 41 percent
35-44: 33 percent
45-54: 26 percent
55+: 28 percent
Total: 36 percent
These surveys were conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,321 hiring and human resource managers ages 18 and over (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) and 3,039 employees ages 18 and over (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) between May 14 and June 3, 2015. With pure probability samples of 2,321 and 3,039, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have sampling errors of +/- 2.03 and +/- 1.78 percentage points, respectively.
As the global leader in human capital solutions, CareerBuilder specializes in cutting-edge HR software as a service to help companies with every step of the recruitment process from acquire to hire. CareerBuilder works with top employers across industries, providing job distribution, sourcing, workflow, CRM, data and analytics in one pre-hire platform. It also operates leading job sites around the world. Owned by TEGNA Inc. (NYSE:TGNA), Tribune Media (NYSE:TRCO) and The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, South America, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit www.careerbuilder.com.
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