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NC is the Worst State for Working Women in 2023

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DURHAM, N.C. - EntSun -- On Labor Day, Oxfam America released its 6th annual "Best and Worst States for Working Women 2023" report and North Carolina came in dead last by all measures. Oxfam created an index based on three policy areas: wages, worker protections, and the right to organize; NC ranked #49, #51, and #48 respectively. While these results present a hardship for all women in North Carolina, they are a disaster for Black working women.

Regarding wages, the Republican-led NC General Assembly has failed to raise the $7.25  minimum wage for 63,000 North Carolinians and an additional 52,000 tipped workers who make $2.12 per hour. Women particularly Black women are disproportionally segregated into low-wage occupations. Black women in NC make 63.8% of the wages of white men compared to white women who earn 74.5%.

The lack of solid worker protections and family support structures in NC makes it difficult for many women to balance their work and family responsibilities. Black working women are disproportionately concentrated in low-wage occupations that offer few benefits with little access to paid sick or family leave, and access to affordable child and elder care. Many women are forced to choose between giving up their jobs, working part-time, and caring for themselves and their loved ones.

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Oxfam's report also measured access to collective bargaining rights for teachers. North Carolina is a "right-to-work" state that tends to lower the wages, benefits, and collective bargaining power available to employees. Reports show that unionized working women have higher incomes and better benefits than non-unionized women in similar occupations. Additionally, Black working women make 32% more in weekly wages than Black non-union workers.

It is imperative that the North Carolina General Assembly stop its assault on North Carolina working women and pass meaningful legislation that will increase the minimum wage and increase their family's economic security; pass paid family leave, and paid sick leave; pass legislation; and, expand publically-funded childcare and early education. Finally, the Republican-led General Assembly should repeal right-to-work laws and support collective bargaining rights for public and private employees.

It is a sin and a shame when the state that is often touted as the Best Place for Business in America, is the absolute Worst Place for Working Women. This term the GOP-led General Assembly has attacked our choices, attacked our ability to make medical decisions for our children, has attacked our basic humanity, and has refused to step up and provide basic economic security and stability to our families. I call on our state political and business leaders to do better.

Source: S J Adams Consulting
Filed Under: Women

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