Houston Matters

Can you Live on a Minimum Wage in Houston?

In recent days, labor and community groups have rallied in Houston, and across the nation, calling for a raise in the minimum wage, currently 7.25 an hour, and encouraging employers to voluntarily pay employees more. Texas has more minimum wage workers than any other state, and the 2nd-highest percentage of hourly paid workers making the […]

In recent days, labor and community groups have rallied in Houston, and across the nation, calling for a raise in the minimum wage, currently 7.25 an hour, and encouraging employers to voluntarily pay employees more.

Texas has more minimum wage workers than any other state, and the 2nd-highest percentage of hourly paid workers making the minimum wage or less. Here in Houston, we have special challenges a budget-squeezed Houstonian must address. Depending on where you live and work, you may very well have to drive, and spend a lot on gas in the process. The weather, particularly in the summer, all but requires air conditioning, driving up electric bills.

This all raises a key question – can you get by, in 2013 Houston, with a full-time, minimum wage job? We were joined by two economists. Steven Craig, a Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Houston. And John Diamond, a Professor and Fellow in Public Finance at Rice University. Professor Diamond.

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