Wisconsin Jobs Now, a local labor group, is suing Governor Scott Walker – despite the Department of Workforce Development’s claims that most of the people who are arguing for a wage hike are making double that.
Our minimum wage in Wisconsin is $7.25 an hour. A 40-hour workweek at minimum wage nets you $290 before taxes. Wisconsin law defines that a living wage—which Wisconsin Jobs Now argues is higher than $7.25 an hour—should be compensation for work that allows workers to have “reasonable comfort, reasonable physical well-being, decency, and moral well-being.”
The labor group intends to force Governor Walker to determine a new minimum wage by saying that $290 per week, or $1,218 per month when you account for the fact that the average month contains 4.2 weeks, is not a living wage.
The average person working at minimum wage in Wisconsin takes home $15,080 before taxes each year, assuming that they are paid for vacations and sick days.
Wisconsin’s Minimum Wage: What Do You Think?
The Department of Workforce Development says that they have no reasonable cause to believe that $7.25 per hour before taxes is not a living wage, which prompted the lawsuit.
Let’s take a look at the numbers:
The average two-bedroom apartment rents for $904 a month (or $10,848 per year) in Milwaukee, according to RentJungle. This may serve as part of the basis for the labor group’s lawsuit, but we all know that there are lows and highs that affect these averages. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says that to feed a family of two for a month on the most frugal food plan, it takes $499.40 for those aged 19 to 50; it’s $478.00 for those aged 51 to 70.
A family of four? With kids between 2 and 5, it’s $569.10; with those whose kids are between 6 and 11, it’s $652.50.
Keep in mind that these are national averages. Naturally, groceries are more affordable in Milwaukee than they are in Honolulu, San Diego or Washington, D.C. It’s entirely possible to feed a family of six on $500 per month if you’re shopping frugally.
I’ll leave the math up to you, but really, that’s not the issue. The issue is that Wisconsin Jobs Now is filing a lawsuit against Governor Scott Walker to get him to come up with a new minimum wage.
What do you think? Should our minimum wage go up, or is $7.25 an hour enough to live on? We’d love to hear your opinion, so leave a comment below or head over to our Facebook page and let us know what you think!