Group plans renewed push for increasing Indiana’s minimum wage

(Photo Supplied/Indiana News Service)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WOWO/Indiana News Service):  Indiana’s minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. If you do the math, that’s $290 a week, or roughly $15,000 a year.

Jessica Fraser, program manager at the Indiana Institute of Working Families, says even if two parents work full-time at that wage, it still isn’t enough income to meet basic needs – and without public assistance or taking on multiple jobs, a family can’t survive and save.

“The top three jobs in terms of number of employees – the number of people that have those jobs in Indiana – they pay less than $9 an hour, on average,” says Fraser. “Not enough to support a family.”

Fraser adds it’s worse for waiters and waitresses, who are paid $2.13 an hour and expected to make up the difference in tips. The last time they saw a raise was in 1991, although the restaurant industry has seen strong growth and profitability.

According to the National Women’s Law Center, gender gaps and poverty rates for tipped workers are smaller in states where waiters get the same pay as other minimum-wage workers.

Some state lawmakers say Indiana’s good business climate offers many chances for employment, and thus opportunities to improve one’s paycheck.

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