When the wage rose, me. Parra said she could more easily help with renting and paying the phone and cable bills at the apartment she shares with her mother, who earns $ 18.50 an hour at a heating and air-conditioning business.
However, she noticed that her wages were not enough to be able to live alone. “I would not say that we are poor, but I would also not say that we are doing well,” she said. “But because we both have income, we can manage.”
Mayor Jerry Dyer said there were “obviously mixed feelings” about the rising minimum wage. “As mayor of a city, it’s important that we have people in our community who deserve a living wage,” he said.
But Mr Dyer, a republican, said he also understands the pain that businesses can experience. “I have heard from companies that if the minimum wage rises too much, they can not be competitive,” he said.
“This is the challenge we face,” he said.
One question is whether $ 15 is enough.
In Fresno it is often not. Calculating the MIT Life Payroll Calculator that a living wage in Fresno for a family of four, while both adults work, is $ 22.52 per hour. According to Fresno, Fresno’s median rent has risen by 11 percent in the past year Apartment list’s national rental report, among the largest increases in the country.
40 hours a week, Jessica Ramirez (26) earns $ 15.65 an hour at the Amazon warehouse in Fresno. She is the primary breadwinner for herself, her partner and her five children, but even with food stamps and occasional work, she says, her pay is barely enough to get by.