In his State of the Union address this week, President Obama called for raising the federal minimum wage from its current rate of $7.25 per hour to $9.00, and for indexing the minimum wage to rise automatically each year with the cost of living. He also called for raising the sub–minimum wage for tipped workers, which has been stuck at $2.13 per hour since 1991.
“We know our economy’s stronger when we reward an honest day’s work with honest wages. But today, a full-time worker making the minimum wage earns $14,500 a year. A family with two kids that earns the minimum wage still lives below the poverty line. That’s wrong,” said the president.
A higher minimum wage is key to getting our economy back on track for working people and the middle class. In the months ahead, NELP will be working with allies and members of Congress to advance legislation to raise the federal minimum wage.
In the last two days, media coverage of the president’s proposal has cited NELP experts and research extensively, including The New York Times, CBS Evening News, CNN, CNBC, The Huffington Post, The Nation, and The Hill.
The most recent polling shows 73 percent of voters support raising the minimum wage to $10 per hour and indexing it to rise with the cost of living. A record number of business leaders have also endorsed raising the minimum wage, including Costco, the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce, and small business owners from across the country.
The minimum wage plays an increasingly important role in today’s service-based economy. An August NELP study showed that while the majority of jobs lost during the recession were in middle-wage occupations, 58 percent of those created in the post-recession recovery have been in low-wage occupations.
A raise for America’s low-wage workers is long overdue. Together, with your support, let's make it happen!
For more information about NELP's work on the minimum wage, please visit www.raisetheminimumwage.org.