West Virginia’s Low Paid Workers

West Virginians Need Better Jobs

You may have read the recent CNBC report, ranking West Virginia as number 50 in the United States for businesses.

A short time later, WalletHub’s research shows West Virginia at the bottom of the barrel in public education.

Now comes word that 23 percent of West Virginia’s workforce is employed in low-wage jobs.

These reports make it clear. West Virginia’s leadership is an awful failure.

The Mountain State has huge potential: Agriculture, manufacturing, Medical Marijuana, tourism, coal, technology, timber, just to name a few. Yet we continue to languish.

The 10th annual State of Working West Virginia focuses on low-wage work, including demographics of those who do the work; the industries that employ them; geographic factors; the role of public programs supporting low-wage workers; and policy recommendations to improve economic well-being.
 
The report reveals the shifting role of low-wage work in the Mountain State’s economy, now its main source of job growth, and a path no longer confined to young workers entering the workforce. The complete picture of West Virginia’s economy shows growth in low-wage industries, while non-low wage industries decline, and wages stagnate for both.
 
As low-wage jobs become more prevalent in the state’s economy, we must consider public policies that support these workers and their families, recognizing their importance to the state.
This means that we must put pressure on our legislators to take positive steps for West Virginia. Leadership on both sides of the political aisle have failed the Mountain State for decades.