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Living Wage Job Gap


Virginia Organizing is out with its annual Job Gap report.  The report compares the number of job seekers to the number of jobs that pay a living wage. 


Jill Reese, with “Alliance for a Just Society” says living wage jobs are few and far between.

“Over half of job openings in Virginia pay less than $18.59 an hour.  That’s the living wage for a single adult.  More than four out of five pay less than $34.27 an hour-the living wage for a single adult with two children.”

Officials with Virginia Organizing say the Commonwealth’s failure to expand Medicaid has already cost 150 jobs in Lee County, when Wellmont Health System closed its hospital there October 1st.  Jill Carson says they can’t open a facility with beds because Wellmont won’t sell its hospital and it’s also holding on to the certificate of public need, which is required to open a hospital.

“The closest hospital to us is located 45 miles away in the next county.  That hospital is also owned by Wellmont and things aren’t looking real good for their future as well.”

Carson says Wellmont mentioned cuts in Medicaid reimbursement as one reason for closing the hospital.