Pew Research Center: 71% of Americans Favor Minimum Wage Increase

Minimum Wage - IllustrationDuring his recent State of the Union address, President Barack Obama had this to say about the nation's minimum wage, which currently sits at $7.25/hour:

"We know our economy is stronger when we reward an honest dayís work with honest wages. But today, a full-time worker making the minimum wage earns $14,500 a year. Even with the tax relief we put in place, a family with two kids that earns the minimum wage still lives below the poverty line. Thatís wrong. Thatís why, since the last time this Congress raised the minimum wage, 19 states have chosen to bump theirs even higher.

Tonight, letís declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty, and raise the federal minimum wage to $9.00 an hour. We should be able to get that done.

This single step would raise the incomes of millions of working families. It could mean the difference between groceries or the food bank; rent or eviction; scraping by or finally getting ahead. For businesses across the country, it would mean customers with more money in their pockets. And a whole lot of folks out there would probably need less help from government. In fact, working folks shouldnít have to wait year after year for the minimum wage to go up while CEO pay has never been higher. So hereís an idea that Governor Romney and I actually agreed on last year -- letís tie the minimum wage to the cost of living, so that it finally becomes a wage you can live on."


As President Obama mentioned, a total of 19 states have minimum wages that are higher than $7.25. These states include Washington ($9.19), California ($8.00) and Colorado ($7.78). States with no minimum wage laws (Alabama, Mississippi, etc) and states with minimum wage rates less than $7.25 (Georgia, Arkansas) both use the federal rate to determine their minimum wage.

A state can't have a minimum wage of lower than $7.25 per hour, but they are free to have a higher minimum wage if they so choose.

The last time that the federal minimum wage was increased? July of 2009.


According to the Pew Research Center, 71% of Americans favor increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25/hour to $9.00 per hour, while 26% oppose the idea.

Here is a breakdown by party:

Party | Favor | Oppose

Republican | 50% | 47%
Democrat | 87% | 11%
Independent | 68% | 28%

As you can see, the proposal has overwhelming support from Democrats and Independents, and lukewarm support from Republican supporters.


What do you think about President Obama's proposal?

Filed under: General Knowledge

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