EARN in the South

EARN in the South, launched in 2017, was created in collaboration with southern members of EARN and grassroots organizations that expressed a desire for closer partnerships, greater information and strategy sharing among states in the region, and a shared economic narrative and strategy for policy change that is grounded in, and responsive to, the unique historical and political climate of the South. The collaboration between EARN members and grassroots organizations aims to advance pro-worker economic, racial, and gender justice policies throughout the region through deep cross-state collaboration between EARN members and grassroots organizations led by, representing, and building power with, directly affected communities – particularly women and people of color. The EARN in the South cohort is made up of the EARN organizations and their grassroots partners in twelve Southern states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Publications

How to Build An Economy that Works for All: Raise the State Minimum Wage

North Carolina needs an economy that works for all and ensures broadly shared prosperity. That means creating jobs that pay workers enough to afford the basics for themselves and their families—enough to buy groceries, pay the rent, put gas in the car, and keep their children in day care. Unfortunately, the jobs that paid decent wages are largely vanishing, as low-wage service jobs replace the manufacturing positions that once provided generations of North Carolinians with vital pathways to the middle class. This trend has only accelerated since the end of the Great Recession.

Raising the minimum wage in North Carolina provides a critical antidote to the ongoing boom in low-wage work. The state’s current minimum wage is identical to the nation’s wage at $7.25 an hour. But our elected officials have the opportunity to join a growing list of state governments— including Arkansas, Nebraska, Alaska, South Dakota, New York, and California—that have recently acted to raise the wage floor for employers within their jurisdictions. These states have recognized that the current national minimum wage simply doesn’t pay enough to make ends meet, and that by raising their own wage floors they can help workers and boost their overall economies. Joining this movement will benefit North Carolina’s businesses, help workers, and boost the state’s overall economy.