While millions of Americans celebrated Labor Day this weekend, 48 percent of the labor force – women – had less to celebrate, according to the Ms. Foundation’s new comprehensive book and campaign, Raise the Floor. Despite 30 years of feminist progress for women in the labor force, American women continue to dominate low-paying fields and low-paying positions in higher-paying fields. With a minimum wage of just $5.15 to add up to only $10,712 per year, working women, who make up two out of three minimum wage workers, can barely support themselves, let alone their children. In fact, while women represent 48 percent of the labor force, they represent 59 percent of workers earning less than eight dollars per hour.
The Ms. Foundation’s new campaign, which works for a living wage for all workers, both men and women, proposes:
- national minimum needs budgets for adults and families;
- a realistic federal minimum wage;
- policies to supplement wages to assure that people can meet their basic needs.