Peninsula business owners need to wake up to reality of the misfortunate folks face on the wages paid to locals.
The minimum wage of $7.75 is barely enough to keep a full-time worker above poverty guidelines of $19,430 for a single person. On the Kenai Peninsula, finding a job that will support a single person much less a family is not just a challenge but a reality that the local business owners seem to ignore.
Most people have to have more than one job, a good means of transportation (because the lack of a good transportation system on the peninsula) and for a car, pay gas and bills on a $7.75 an hour budget. It is stated that the average person on the Peninsula earns $12.50 per hour — this is nothing but a figure that is not a reality. Fewer residents are employed in high paying jobs as might be put on paper. Since no benefits go along with the job, medical payments are also a challenge. It is the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer and it is a shame. The unemployment rate runs well above the state and national averages on the Peninsula. Apartments are high — most over $600 a month with no utilities. What happened to the small communities on the Peninsula working together to help each other out, not run them into the ground?