JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The battle over fair minimum wage in Mississippi is ongoing.
“Mississippi needs to encourage jobs that pay more than the average it is paying today, which is $39,000,” said Madison County Economic Development Authority Joseph Deason.
The latest hearings to gather data took place with the Mississippi Senate Labor Committee, chaired by Senator John Horhn. The United Way Alice Project, for one, highlights individuals who are unable to afford basic needs.
Service sectors, some hotels and restaurants primarily bore the brunt of COVID-19 with racial disparities across the state placing limits on unemployment.
“Black and Hispanic workers in Mississippi earn 46 and 35 percent less than white workers along with a significant gender gap,” said Stephanie Hoopes of United Way Alice Project. “A large number are retired, but a big block are out of the workforce for other reasons, and this creates a large reserve of potential workers and perhaps one of the things keeping the wage low in Mississippi.”
So far, 10 states have raised the minimum wage to $15 experts said.