A new poll released today finds that 80 percent of Americans – including 62 percent of Republicans and 80 percent of Independents – support raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour and indexing it to the cost of living.
The poll also found that 74 percent of Americans consider raising the minimum wage to be an important legislative priority for Congress over the next year.
The polling was performed in connection with The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013, now before Congress. The bill would raise the federal minimum wage from the current rate of $7.25 to $10.10 per hour by 2015. It also provides for annual increases in future years to keep pace with the rising cost of living.
The legislation would help tipped workers as well, increasing a minimum wage that’s been frozen at $2.13 per hour since 1991 to 70 percent of the full minimum wage.
Raising the minimum wage is expected to boost pay for more than 30 million low-wage workers, including those in New Hampshire. Another 15 million children are expected to benefit as minimum-wage-earning parents add to their family income.
According to an analysis by the nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute, 88 percent of these workers are adults over the age of 20. The vast majority – 85 percent – work more than 20 hours per week and 43 percent have at least some college education.
The Economic Policy Institute analysis also estimates that raising the minimum wage to $10.10 would generate more than $32 billion in new economic activity, supporting the creation of 140,000 new full-time jobs as local businesses expand to meet increased demand driven by worker spending.