BLOG: Let’s Raise All Boats For Workers

By: Kathy Manderino, Secretary of Labor & Industry

March 09, 2016

Too often in Harrisburg, we lose sight of the real impact on people by our actions – or inaction, for that matter.

For years, advocates, business owners, and elected officials have called for lawmakers to raise Pennsylvania’s minimum wage for low-income workers.

The goal here is to raise all boats:
  • Lifting people out of poverty allows them to rely less on government assistance.
  • Empowering employees with better wages increases productivity and decreases turnover.
  • Increasing purchasing power for low-wage workers means more customers for small and local businesses.

Too often, the workers get forgotten, and so does the true struggle and pain of trying to lift oneself out of poverty working one, two, or three low-wage jobs.

Pennsylvanians who work full time at the minimum wage earn $15,080 annually, leaving them below the poverty level for a family of four and unable to afford basic necessities.

A full-time, year-round worker earning the current minimum wage earns less than the federal poverty threshold for a family of two.

For a single mother with two children who works 40 hours per week, an increase in the minimum wage would lift her family above the poverty line for a household of three.

We cannot forget these people, and luckily for them, Governor Wolf understands their struggle to provide for their families. That’s why he’s fighting for better wages for all workers.

It is time for us to do the right thing for all working Pennsylvanians and raise the minimum wage.

Too many fathers, mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers are working multiple jobs at low wages and still unable to provide enough for their families to get by. We cannot fail them any longer.

Let’s raise all boats – too many have been struggling just to stay afloat for far too long.


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