Raise the wage ceiling by protecting the wage floor
Fight for $50,000-a-year careers by expanding entry-level training opportunities that provide employees with the skills to earn middle-class incomes.
In contrast, the Fight for a $15 minimum wage reduces job opportunities and cuts off the bottom rung of the career ladder that is needed for employees to quickly climb it.
To get a good job, you need a first job
There are currently 5.9 million national job openings, roughly half of which are middle-class jobs that pay approximately $50,000 a year and don’t require a bachelor’s degree.
These are the types of jobs we should be fighting to fill with:
- The nearly two million long-term unemployed Americans
- The roughly three million “prime age” workers who have dropped out of the labor force altogether since the Great Recession
- The tens of millions of American employees struggling with stagnating incomes
Fight for $15 is not the answer
The Fight for $50,000 can provide middle-class careers; the Fight for a $15 minimum wage threatens entry-level job opportunities because many low-margin small businesses cannot absorb its costs and are forced to shed jobs or close altogether.
- Economists find that a federal $15 minimum wage would cost seven million jobs nationally
- Hundreds of examples of real-world harm from local minimum wage hikes are already out there
To fill these jobs and increase incomes for millions of Americans, we must protect the entry-level opportunities that provide employees with the skills necessary to acquire them.
The Department of Labor projects tens of thousands of job openings, which don’t require a bachelor’s degree, in each of the following middle-class fields:
- Dental Hygenists
- Electrical Line Installers
- Sales Rep
- Respitory Therapist
- Property Managers
- Occupational Therapist
- Computer support technicians
- Medical and Lab Techs
- Plumbers and Pipefitters
- Paralegals and Legal Assistants
- Truck Service Techs
- HVAC Mechanics
- Construction Equipment Operators
- Physical Therapist Assistants
- Chefs and Head Cooks
- Specialty Tradespeople (Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers)
- Correction Officers
- Truck Drivers
- Masonry Workers
- Autobody Repair