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Asheville area ‘living wage’ jumps to $13/hr.
Thursday, 02 February 2017 13:30

From Staff Reports

Just Economics announced in early January a boost in its influential “living wage” for the Asheville area for 2017 to a new rate of $13 hourly for employees in the Asheville area not offered health insurance and $11.50 for those who are.

The nonprofit group attributed the 50-cent-per-hour jump to rising houring and living costs. The rate is a near 4 percent increase from 2015, when it was last changed.

“A living wage is the minimum amount that a worker must earn to afford his or her basic necessities without public or private assistance,” according to Vicki Meath, executive director of Just Economics, a regional membership organization based in Asheville that advocates for a just and sustainable economy throughout Western North Carolina.

Meath said she recognized small businesses are operating in a challenging business climate — and that many have made sacrifices to ensure they are doing their best to raise the wages of those who are paid the least.

She also said Just Economics realizes that workers in the community have ongoing needs and an always increasing cost of living.

About 400 WNC businesses are enrolled in Just Economics’ Certified Living Wage Program, agreeing to pay the wage set by Just Economics to the majority of their employees.



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