President Obama’s Plan to Reward Work by Raising the Minimum Wage

Washington,DC - The President’s plan strengthens the middle class by making America a magnet for jobs, equipping every American with the skills they need to do those jobs, and ensuring hard work leads to a decent living.

The President believes that no one who works fulltime should have to raise their family in poverty. But right now, a full-time minimum wage worker makes $14,500 a year – which leaves too many families struggling to make ends meet, with a family of four with a minimum wage worker still living below the poverty line. That’s why the President is calling on Congress to raise the Federal minimum wage for working Americans in stages to $9 in 2015 and index it to inflation thereafter.

  • Reward work by raising the Federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $9: The President is calling on Congress to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 in stages by the end of 2015 and index it to inflation thereafter, which would directly boost wages for 15 million workers and reduce poverty and inequality.
  • A stronger middle class is a key to a stronger economy: A range of economic studies show that modestly raising the minimum wage increases earnings and reduces poverty without jeopardizing employment. In fact, leading economists like Lawrence Katz, Richard Freeman, and Laura Tyson and businesses like Costco, Wal-Mart, and Stride Rite have supported past increases to the minimum wage, in part because increasing worker productivity and purchasing power for consumers will also help the overall economy.
  • Helping parents make ends meet: Around 60 percent of workers benefiting from a higher minimum wage are women. Less than 20 percent are teenagers. Also, those workers who would benefit from an increase in the minimum wage brought home 46 percent of their household’s total wage and salary income in 2011. These factors show that raising the minimum wage directly helps parents make ends meet and support their families.

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