With a year of experience, the city of Dallas, Texas released the results of the first year of the city’s living wage program. Approved in late 2015, the Dallas City Council established a minimum wage rate for city contract employees of $10.37/hour. This increase exceeds the current nation minimum by 3 dollars ( $7.25). While the cost of living differential among cities is difficult to estimate, in Dallas utilities, healthcare, and child care costs surpass the national average. The increase in the contract starting wage (the stated living wage) has had a significant impact on residents of the city: 92% of contract employees indicated they live in the city; 95% of the sanitation workers reported they lived in the city. Where benefits are clearly evident is in improved attendance of employees and improved morale. Lower turnover enabled the city to hire 18 temporary workers into full-time jobs. Leaders in the city acknowledged that wages had been stagnant for a long time. By increasing wages, workers were more timely and more productive.
Stephen Young. 2017.
The City of Dallas contracts more expensive, but better workers are sticking around thanks to a living wage. Dallas Morning News. Thursday, February 23.
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