– President Obama
The federal minimum wage hasn't kept pace with the rising costs of basic necessities for working families, and today is worth even less than it was in the early 1980s. That means someone working full time for the federal minimum wage makes just $14,500 a year — which is below the poverty line for a family of four.
Raising the minimum wage nationwide would benefit 28 million workers across the country, and lift nearly a million people out of poverty. These aren’t just teenagers at their first job — the average age of workers who would benefit is 35 years old.
Despite support from 7 out of 10 Americans, lawmakers have failed to act.
But momentum is on our side. So far in 2014, five states and D.C. have enacted minimum wage increases, and many more states have legislation in motion to follow suit. We've seen state legislators from both sides of the aisle come together, because they know that putting more money in the pockets of working Americans means more spending at local businesses.
President Obama led by example, raising the wage for all federal contractors by executive order. We've also seen business owners raise wages for their employees, because they know that workers who feel valued are more productive and less likely to leave their jobs.
Higher wages are good for workers and business, and are key to a stronger economy that creates opportunity for all Americans.
What's needed now is a strong show of support from people across the country, to let our lawmakers know: It's time to give America a raise.