As more states raise minimum wage, North Carolina stands pat at $7.25 an hour

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Two dozen states in the U.S. are raising their minimum wage in 2020 but in North Carolina, it will remain at $7.25 an hour.

Seven bills were filed in the state to increase the minimum wage in 2019, but none of them went anywhere. The group Action NC is pushing for an increase to $15 an hour. Executive Director Pat McCoy said a wage increase will help battle the affordable housing crisis in Charlotte.

[READ MORE: New South Carolina bill would raise minimum wage by $3 in 3 years]

"People can only pay for what they can afford, and it is a poverty wage," McCoy said. "People can't even buy food on this, never mind the sky-high rents here in Charlotte."

Donald Bryson of the Civitas Institute said keeping it at its current level will prevent job loss. He argues against having a minimum wage at all and said employers should pay employees based on their worth.

"Some people end up with higher wages, but a lot of people end up with no wages at all because they are out of a job," Bryson said. "If we have employees coming in to negotiate their own wages, we would probably see higher wages in places like Raleigh and Charlotte."

The city of Charlotte has a minimum wage of $16 per hour for city employees. Mecklenburg County’s minimum wage is $15 per hour for county employees.

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