Defend democracy in the South.

With the addition of Kentucky this year, percent of Southern states with "right-to-work" laws, which allow employees to receive union benefits without belonging to one: 100

Number of workers belonging to unions in Southern states: 2.2 million

Number of Southern workers represented by unions who aren't members: 559,000

On average, percent more that union workers earn than their non-union counterparts: 13.2

Percent that economic productivity rose in the U.S. between 1979 and 2015: 63.8

Percent that wages of typical U.S. worker rose during that period: 9.9

Percent by which income grew for the top 1 percent of U.S. wage earners during that period: 190

Year that the federal minimum wage was last increased, to $7.25 an hour: 2009

Due to inflation, percent by which the purchasing power of the $7.25 minimum wage has decreased since 2009: 12

Of the five states that don't have a minimum wage law and instead rely on the federal standard , number that are in the South: 5

Percent of Southern states where 40 percent or more of workers make less than $15 an hour: 85

Nationally, median weekly earnings for men: $915

For women: $749

For black women: $641

For Latinas: $586

Of the 13 Southern states, number that have passed laws preventing local governments from increasing the minimum wage beyond the state level: 11

Number of Southern states that have passed laws preventing localities from passing measures for paid family sick leave: 10

(Click on figure to go to source.)

Chris Kromm

Chris Kromm chriskromm

Chris Kromm is executive director of the Institute for Southern Studies and publisher of the Institute's online magazine, Facing South.

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