On April 4, 2017, People's Alliance released a State of Work in Durham report in solidarity with a Worker's Rights Hearing organized by Fight for $15. Download the report.
This page includes content from that report and more resources for understanding low-wage work in Durham and efforts to raise wages and improve working conditions. 

Durham and North Carolina need an economy that works for everyone- where people make enough through full-time employment to support themselves and their families; where those who work hard can have a good life, decent standard of living, and an even better future for their children; where work is an engine for upward mobility; where parents don't have to decide between putting food on the table and participating fully in family life. 

Want to know more about the make-up of low-wage workers?  

In North Carolina in 2015:

  • 56.9% of workers making under $25,000 per year were women
  • 67% of NC low-wage workers (those making under $20,800 per year) were White
  • Just over 3% of low-wage workers were under 18
  • 7% of low-wage workers were undocumented (not citizens)

For Raleigh-Durham in 2010-2013 (the most recent years that were available in the data source):

  • Over 58% of workers making under $24,300 per year were women 
  • 69% of NC low-wage workers (under $24,300 per year) were White
  • 6% of low-wage workers were under 18
  • 9% of low-wage workers were undocumented (not citizens)
  • 48% of workers earning under $24,300 per year had at least one year of college

Integrated Public Use Microdata Series: Version 6.0. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2015

Take Action

Groups statewide are working in coalition to raise wages and improve working conditions. Here are some actions underway that you can take part in:

FIGHT FOR $15National group organizing in Durham
Workers have come together to fight for fair wages and the right to form a union without retaliation. We work for corporations who are making tremendous profits, but that do not pay employees like us enough to support our families and to cover basic needs like food, health care, rent and transportation. Fight for $15 has a Durham office and organizes actions here. Visit to find out how to join actions and support. 

RAISING WAGES NC. Statewide campaign
A broad, diverse group of working people and unions, community organizations, faith leaders, businesses, and policy advocates joining together across the state to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour in 5 years. There is a national movement rising across the country to raise wages. From coast to coast, it has scored big wins in places like Maine, Arkansas, Nebraska, New York, California, and Seattle. Now is the time for North Carolina to take bold action to build upon this momentum and raise the minimum wage in our state - learn how at

PEOPLE'S ALLIANCE. Local organization
People's Alliance (PA) is a grassroots organization that has been fighting for over 40 years for a more just and equitable Durham and NC. The PA Economic Inequality team launched the Durham Living Wage Campaign and is currently advocating for increasing tax fairness, strengthening workforce development, expanding living wages and promoting expansion of jobs and worker ownership. Get involved at