$15 an hour could help 150,000 Nebraskans, analysis says

By: - September 15, 2022 9:44 pm
minimum wage

Kate Wolfe, campaign coordinator for Raise the Wage Nebraska, speaks as the initiative prepares to submit 160,000 petition signatures on Thursday. (Paul Hammel/Nebraska

LINCOLN — Nebraskans, if they vote this November to increase the minimum wage, would help families with children and narrow wage gaps, Raise the Wage Nebraska said this week.

The group shared an Economic Policy Institute analysis from 2019 indicating that increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour would help 150,000 Nebraska workers. 

Seventy-seven percent are white. More than 60% are women. Among the people who would benefit, 43% have attended college. More than 40% live in rural Nebraska. More than 20% have children. 

“I have been a hard-working employee in customer service and claims management since I was 17. I’ve done everything right, and I have never made more than $15 an hour,” said Kim Baker, a Lincoln resident. “After 20 years, I should be able to live independently with my son but the cost of housing alone makes that impossible on my current wage.”

Kate Wolfe, Campaign Manager for Raise the Wage Nebraska said “working families can’t make ends meet because wages haven’t kept up and parents can’t afford to pay rent and put food on the table at today’s minimum wage of $9 an hour.”

Raise the Wage Nebraska petitioned onto the ballot with 97,245 valid signatures. Election Day is Nov. 8.

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Jazari Kual
Jazari Kual

Jazari Kual interned with the Nebraska Examiner while studying journalism and broadcasting media production at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Before interning at the Examiner, he interned at Flatwater Free Press. He also owns and operates a video company. Jazari is bilingual, with fluency in English and Arabic.