- The richest 5% of Durham County’s households have an average income that is 27 times greater than the poorest fifth of household.
- Nearly one in five Durham residents lives in poverty.
- Over half of the renters cannot afford fair market rent for a two-bedroom unit.
Find an economic snapshot of Durham here.
The recent Recovery from the Great Recession has not felt like a "recovery" for many North Carolina communities, with too few jobs for job-seekers, and many of the available jobs paying too little to make ends meet.
- The recovery has not translated into increased earnings for the average worker.
- North Carolina has a long history of low-wage work, with our low level of unionization contributing to keeping wages low.
- Research shows that higher unionization rates can raise the wages and benefits of all workers, but North Carolina remains the least unionized state in the nation.
The North Carolina and federal wage minimum wage levels of $7.25/hour don’t let families earn enough to make ends meet.
- For a full-time, year-round worker, that’s only about $15,000 per year.
- A conservative measure of what it actually takes to make ends meet in Durham for a family of two (one adult and one child) finds that it takes at least $18.41 per hour to meet the most basic of needs.
When workers don’t make enough to make ends meet, families, communities and the economy suffer.
- Low-income earners tend to spend a larger proportion of earnings in the local economy, providing a stimulus effect.
- The estimated GDP impact of a minimum wage increase to $10.10, for example, would be approximately $1.3 billion in North Carolina.
A Living Wage: Good for Business, Good for Workers!
- For employers, paying a living wage can mean lower turnover, a more motivated workforce, and the increased goodwill of the community.
- For employees, a living wage is an opportunity to move from poverty toward meeting basic needs.