Raising Core Standards: Increase the Minimum Wage

Raising-Core-Standards

Families cannot make ends meet at minimum wage jobs. Over the last forty years, the real value of the federal minimum wage has fallen by nearly 30%. If it had kept pace with inflation, it would be $10.58, instead of $7.25. The tipped minimum wage has been frozen at $2.13 an hour for 21 years; servers have 3 times the poverty rate of the rest of the US workforce. The public overwhelmingly supports raising the minimum wage; many believe it would help the economy by putting money in the hands of families who will spend it. Organizing efforts have helped pass minimum wage increases in dozens of states and scores of cities, providing a raise not only to minimum wage workers, but boosting wages across the low-wage job market. Higher city and state minimum wage levels also help create momentum for increasing the federal minimum; a proposed federal increase to $9.80 would raise the wages of 28 million workers in the US, boost GDP by over $25 billion and support the creation of over 100,000 jobs*

*Estimates by the Economic Policy Institute quoted in NELP’s Issue Brief New Minimum Wage Bills Would Accelerate Recovery and Improve Job Quality, August 2012.