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What Living on Minimum Wage in Music City Looks Like

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Local workers say they're in favor of upping the minimum wage for all workers, but some are worried what that might mean for job security. If you remember, just last month here in Nashville fast food workers from area chain restaurants walked off their jobs. It happened at popular fast food joints like Wendy's and McDonald's. They went on strike, fighting for $15/hour pay. The median pay rate for a fast food worker here is $8.54/hour, but today we met someone making even less than that. Denise McAdams works at Off the Bone Barbeque 6 days a week. When she gets home the work load doesn't stop. Sometimes she can't make her rent and right now she's living on less than paycheck to paycheck. McAdams hopes the President's push to increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25/hour to $10.10/hour will eventually help her.

Right now, McAdams earns $7.50/hour, just a quarter over minimum wage. A study by MIT shows McAdams would need to make $21.72 an hour in the Nashville area just to afford the basics for one child. She makes just a fraction of that with 2 daughters living at home.

Of course, everyone living on minimum wage would like to get paid more, but what does that mean for small businesses?

Monique Hall works at Food for the Soul. She's the only employee at the small North Nashville restaurant and said the only downside of a minimum wage increase might mean she could be out of a job.

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