Wake County’s Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to raise the minimum wage for county employees from $11.08 to $13.50 per hour Monday.
The change affects 75 Wake County employees who are all in the lowest wage bracket.
Sig Hutchinson, a member of the Wake County Board of Commissioners, said providing a living wage for government employees is in the best interest of the county.
“I believe that a living wage is good for everyone. It’s good for employers, it’s good for employees, it’s good for communities, it’s good for families and it’s good for the economy,” he said.
“I’ve felt for a long time that no one should work 40 hours a week and then not be able to take care of their personal needs and their families.”
Wake County has the highest cost of living of any county in North Carolina. Matt Calabria, who also serves on the Board of Commissioners, said providing a living wage is essential for the livelihoods of government employees.
“If we’re going to fight poverty, the least we can do is make sure we’re not responsible for it as employers,” Calabria said.
Hutchinson said the minimum wage increase will cost $93,000, which is less than one tenth of one percent of the county’s $1.14 billion budget.