Recently, the California state legislature announced it would raise the state’s minimum wage to $10.00 an hour. According to analysts, a $10.00 an hour minimum wage boosts workers’ earnings by $4,000.00 a year and will put $2.6 billion dollars back into the hands of those workers. That money is expected be spent at grocery stores, on school supplies, and invested in education. Spending boosts our economy, the argument goes.
California’s minimum wage is among the highest in the country. The federal minimum wage, along with Georgia’s minimum wage, is $7.25 an hour and has not been raised since 2009. However, in his State of the Union address in February 2013, President Barack Obama called for the national minimum wage to be raised to $9 an hour.
Earlier this year, President Obama backed up his speech by introducing the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 in the Senate. The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) to increase the federal minimum wage for employees in three increments, over two years, to $10.10 an hour. The Act also intends to keep the minimum wage rising, with the amount to be determined by the Secretary of Labor (based on increases in the Consumer Price Index) after three years, and annually thereafter.
According to a study by the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour would pull more than half of the nation’s working poor out of poverty.
To learn more about the Act, and to follow its progress, visit http://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th/senate-bill/460