Raising The Minimum Wage

Raising The Minimum Wage

With nearly 1.8 million New Yorkers earning the minimum wage or just above, Senator Gillibrand is committed to passing the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013, which would increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25/hour to $10.10/hour over the next three years.

Currently, a single parent in New York working 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year at the minimum wage, earns just $290 a week. That’s $15,000 a year – without any time off. That salary is $3,000 below the poverty line for a family of three. This is unacceptable.

Raising the minimum wage to $10.10/hour would raise millions of New Yorkers out of poverty and would account for a $3.2 billion wage increase for New York workers. This would mean increased consumer spending, which would drive local economic growth and create jobs. Raising the minimum wage is a commonsense way to grow our economy, support job creation, and rebuild the American middle class.

Who Would Be Impacted By Raising The Minimum Wage?

The vast majority of the lowest wage earners in New York who would benefit from this increase--approximately 90 percent--are adult workers 20 years old or over, not teenagers in after-school and seasonal jobs.

54 percent of low-wage New Yorkers who would see increased wages under this proposal are women, many with children, and about half are minorities.

And 23% of NY’s low wage workers who would see increased wages as a result of this law, have some college education.

Click here for data on how the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 would impact New Yorkers by region.

What Impact Would This Law Have Nationally?

According to The Economic Policy Institute, 21.3 million American workers would see a direct increase in wages due to the passage of the Fair Minimum Wage Act and an additional 9 million workers would see an indirect benefit.

Raising the minimum wage would disproportionately impact women. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 64.4% of those workers making minimum wage or below are women 16 or older.

(source: Think Progress)

And as this chart from EPI makes clear, while women make up just 49% of U.S. workers, they comprise 56% of the workers who would be affected by an increase in the minimum-wage to $10.10.

In addition, contrary to the common portrayal of minimum wage workers as teenagers working part time for extra cash, a full 88.3% of those that would be affected by a raise in the minimum wage are adults 20 years old or older.

And only 14.2% of workers who’d be impacted by an increase in the minimum wage work fewer than 20 hours a week.

Further, according to EPI, 43.8% of American workers who’d be affected by an increase in the minimum wage have at least some college education.

The face of the minimum wage worker is not what you think. It’s the 40 year-old single mom working full time as a waitress at your local diner. It’s the 29 year-old truck driver delivering fresh food to your local grocery store. It’s the 50 year-old home healthcare worker tending to your ailing mother. And it’s the 23 year-old college graduate answering phones at your doctor’s office.

Raising the minimum wage would benefit not only those making the minimum wage, but it would help our children by raising families out of poverty and would benefit our entire economy by increasing consumer spending and creating jobs. The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 would go a long way toward helping to strengthen the middle class and raise millions of Americans out of poverty. Senator Gillibrand is committed to working to pass this important legislation this year.