North Carolina Is The Only State Where The Average Recent Graduate’s Salary Is Less Than Living Wage
I could go on an hour-long rant about the cost of living vs. average salaries today. Seriously, it’s a soapbox you may or may not want to get on. I’ll keep it brief here, but the most significant point I’d like to reiterate for those who have been in the workforce for a few years is that if you haven’t gotten a raise in line with inflation, you’ve taken a pay cut. The cost of living is skyrocketing and wages aren’t keeping up. In my opinion, it’s the number one issue our country is facing today. And something I’m EXTREMELY concerned about and passionate about correcting. And especially in NC, one group of people is already being set up to fail- recent college graduates. New research shared with us from VentureSmarter revealed that North Carolina is “the only state that pays graduates, on average, less than the living wage.”
Yes, you read that correctly. The average salary in North Carolina for recent graduates is $33,557. Whereas data shows that the North Carolina living wage in the state is $35,651. So on average, these new workers are earning around $2,000 less than what it costs them just to exist. If that doesn’t anger you, it should. What is a “living wage”? It’s the minimum income an individual needs to earn to meet their basic needs. That’s just keeping a roof over your head and food on the table.
And that $$33,557 salary? It’s 20% lower than the national average. Which does surprise me quite honestly. We have some fantastic universities in the state producing quality job candidates. And with Charlotte being a banking hub, and RDU having numerous tech opportunities, I’d think those industries would boost the average.
But somehow, according to this data, North Carolina is not only not paying recent graduates a living wage. We are the only state that doesn’t. Do better NC, do better. And to any employer who thinks it’s okay to pocket the extra cash while not paying your employees well above a living wage, try to live off what you pay your lowest-paid employee for a month. If you can’t do it, they shouldn’t have to either. Rant over.