The federal minimal wage hasn’t been raised in 14 years, a record-long stretch.
Amid the longest interval in Congressional historical past with none elevating of the federal minimal wage, new polling finds that the overwhelming majority of voters not solely assist elevating the minimal wage, but additionally almost tripling it.
Based on polling by Data for Progress launched final week, 74 p.c of voters assist elevating the federal minimal wage to $20 an hour — virtually thrice the present stage of $7.25 an hour. A majority of fifty p.c of respondents mentioned they “strongly assist” the proposal, whereas 24 p.c mentioned they “considerably” assist it.
This assist consists of majorities of voters throughout the political spectrum. Assist is strongest amongst Democrats, with 89 p.c saying that they favor elevating the minimal wage to $20 an hour. However independents and Republicans again the thought as properly, with 74 p.c and 60 p.c assist from each teams, respectively.
The polling comes amid a 14-year stretch because the final time the federal minimal wage was raised, with its actual worth reaching its lowest level in 67 years. The minimal wage is just not a residing wage – the wage required to afford fundamental wants like shelter – almost wherever within the U.S.
Based on the Massachusetts Institute of Expertise residing wage calculator, in a typical household of 4 with two adults and two kids, both adults would need to work 98 hours every week in an effort to survive on a $7.25 wage. In truth, analysis in 2021 discovered that even a $15 minimum wage — greater than double the present minimal wage — isn’t a residing wage in any state within the U.S. MIT’s residing wage calculator estimated that, in 2021, the residing wage for a household of 4 was $24.16 an hour, or about $100,500 a 12 months.
Progressive and Democratic lawmakers have tried to boost the federal minimal wage to $15 an hour, however have been thwarted by the GOP and conservatives in their very own occasion.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) is embarking on a tour of a number of Southern states this week in an effort to promote his invoice that might increase the federal minimal wage to $17 an hour, which he says must be the brand new benchmark after over a decade of labor activists’ Battle for $15 marketing campaign.
The Knowledge for Progress polling discovered important assist for Sanders’s proposal as properly. A barely greater proportion of voters assist elevating the federal minimal to $17 an hour, with 76 p.c assist general and 94 p.c assist from Democrats.
The survey additional discovered that voters overwhelmingly acknowledge that employees have to be paid greater than $20 an hour in an effort to have a “first rate high quality of life” — as in, having the ability to afford fundamental requirements like meals and hire with out struggling. Sixty-three p.c of respondents mentioned that employees should earn greater than $20 an hour to have an honest high quality of life. When requested to estimate a benchmark at which that high quality of life may very well be achieved, voters responded with a mean reply of $26.20.
Even when the federal minimal wage have been raised, a big swath of employees like tipped employees, whose federal minimal wage is $2.13, and gig employees, can be exempt from it. In some locations, voters and lawmakers have handed laws to finish the tipped wage or set a minimal wage for gig employees like Uber drivers, however the initiatives have little likelihood of being thought of by Congress.
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