Minimum Wage | KERA News

Minimum Wage

Christina Ulsh

Teenagers getting their first jobs in North Texas are finding a very welcoming job market. Many are being offered above minimum wage right away for jobs that usually don’t budge from the federally-mandated hourly pay.

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Half a dozen bills designed to raise the state’s minimum wage are working their way through a Texas House committee. Currently, Texas pays at the federal rate which is $7.25 an hour.

A significant bump in hourly pay could be a long shot in a staunchly conservative legislature. One advocacy group has just issued a study endorsing President Obama's call to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

As the congressman for a district with unemployment that's higher than the state average, and income that's lower, Rep. Marc Veasey has made jobs his top priority.  Not just creating jobs, but raising salaries for the people who live in Congressional District 33 which stretches from West Fort Worth to West Dallas.

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Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said over the weekend he wants the City Council to consider raising the minimum wage for workers employed by city contractors. The mayor's announcement comes after Dallas County is considering a similar increase -- and as cities and states across the country are raising the minimum wage, saying their workers should be earning more.

Ginae McDonald/Shutterstock / www.shutterstock.com/gallery-1536p1.html

A minimum-wage worker can’t afford a two-bedroom apartment in Texas – or anywhere else in the country.

That’s the conclusion of an annual study from the National Low Income Housing Coalition. Out of Reach 2014 analyzed wages and rental costs across the country.

In Texas, a minimum-wage worker would have to work 93 hours a week to afford a two-bedroom rental. The minimum wage is $7.25 in Texas – or $15,080 a year for a 40-hour workweek.

Shelley Kofler / KERA

Texas Senator Ted Cruz is offering no apologies for being an outspoken Washington newcomer who aggressively grills cabinet nominees. 

During a stop in Dallas Wednesday he said he hasn’t changed his style since being elected, and doesn’t plan to.