A Fair Day’s Wage

Fact: American workers are the most productive in the world. The average worker is responsible for more than $65,000 of wealth per year and yet more than a third of households make less than $30,000 a year.

  • America has the highest percentage of low-wage workers in the world – almost 25 percent:
  • The vast majority of those who provide us with “our daily bread” (food–farm workers, food processors, restaurant workers and grocery workers) make poverty wages.
  • Those who take care of our children, parents, and grandparents (nursing homes, hospitals, nannies, childcare and Head Start workers) all too often making poverty wages.
  • Fifty percent of personal care workers – mostly women — live in poverty
  • Over 40 percent of female-headed households live in poverty.

Every dollar of additional income for a low wage worker creates $1.20 of economic activity. Imagine that: if those Americans most in need had more money to spend – on food, school supplies, bus fare, and all the other essentials – not only would they be better off, but it would create jobs and move the country towards prosperity. The saying goes: “a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay.” American workers are doing their part. Now it is up to employers to do their part and pay their workers a fair wage that will allow them to support their families. That is our mission at The AFL-CIO.