Also, an overview of how undocumented immigrants are excluded from traditional loans.
Minimum wage increases in more than 20 municipalities
The federal minimum wage has not seen an increase for nearly 13 years. But starting this month, the lowest-paid workers in more than 20 states, cities and counties will see their salaries rise, CBS News reports.
“With the federal minimum wage stuck at $7.25 an hour, state increases are essential for workers, businesses and the economy,” Holly Sklar, CEO of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, tells CBS News. More than 6 million workers would see the impact of these increases, which vary from municipality to municipality.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, 30 states and DC have a minimum wage higher than the federal minimum wage. Although workers have advocated for the $15 federal minimum wage in the past, with inflation at its highest level in 40 years, it is now insufficient: the National Low Income Housing Coalition estimated in 2021 that workers should earning $20.04 an hour to afford a modest one-bedroom rental.
Ecuador reaches agreement with indigenous leaders to end protests
After weeks of massive protests over rising living costs and fuel prices, Ecuador’s indigenous leaders have reached an agreement with the government, AP reports.
The new agreement will reduce the price of gasoline and diesel by 15 cents and limit oil extraction and mining activity in protected areas and indigenous lands.
Since mid-June, tens of thousands of protesters led by the Ecuadorian indigenous organization CONAIE have invaded the capital in demonstrations that have turned violent. CONAIE chief Leonidas Iza said he would end protests, which have shocked Ecuador’s economy, over the deal.
Immigrants “invisible to credit” are excluded from traditional loans
Getting a credit card or a loan is another economic barrier that undocumented workers face, MarketPlace reports in this article on the 45 million American individuals “invisible to credit”.
Without bank accounts, undocumented immigrants and other unbanked people — primarily low-income households and people of color — struggle to qualify for most credit cards and traditional loan services.
Marketplace spoke with José Quiñónez, who grew up with undocumented and unbanked parents and now runs a fintech company called Mission Asset Fund, which we’ve covered in the past. The company establishes lending circles for undocumented borrowers with no credit history to lend money to each other, helping them build credit.
Shania DeGroot is an Emma Bowen Foundation Fellow with Next City for the summer of 2022.