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We hear many sides to the minimum wage debate: The small business owners who are afraid they won’t make payroll if wages go up; the organizer advocating for higher wages for working families; the economist discussing if wages are keeping up with the cost of living.
But what about the people working minimum-wage jobs?
Marketplace Weekend reached out to farmers, restaurant workers, city employees and other people across the U.S. to find out what it’s like to earn minimum wage, (and not just at a summer job).
We spoke with two young women, both 21, in different parts of the country. Both support young children in one way or another. One earns minimum wage and the other earns close to it.
Tanya Harrell lives in Louisiana, which uses the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. Harrell’s paid a little bit above that, $8 an hour, to work at a McDonald’s.
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Agadette Solis works at an IHOP in Los Angeles County, where the minimum wage is $10.50 an hour and going up to $12 on July 1st. She studies at the local community college when she can afford to enroll and supports her preschool-age brother and her 9-month-old sister.
To hear more from Harrell and Solis, click on the audio player above.
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