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One third of workers in Milwaukee make poverty wages

Poverty graphic
Poverty graphic

MILWAUKEE, WI (WTAQ) - Just over a-third of all employees in Milwaukee make “poverty-level wages.”

That’s according to the Center on Wisconsin Strategy at UW Madison, which says 35-percent of Milwaukee’s workforce makes $11.19 an hour or less.

The center says a worker needs to make that much in order to keep a family-of-four from going into poverty.

Also, the UW report says growing numbers of Milwaukeeans are not getting full-time work, because low-wage sectors like retail stores are using hourly workers only when the demand justifies it.

The strategy center calls it “just-in-time scheduling,” and the report says it’s an “increasing norm.”

The UW says 26% of employees in the Milwaukee metro area made poverty-level wages last year, up from 20% back in 1979.

The strategy center says Congress needs to raise the federal minimum wage from the current $7.25 per-hour. 

The Obama White House has proposed an increase to $9 per-hour.