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It’s Time to Raise the Minimum Wage

Minimum wage protest

SOURCE: AP/Erik Schelzig

Workers hold a protest on the steps of the state capitol in Nashville, Tennessee, to speak out on issues ranging from increasing the state's minimum wage to supporting public schools.

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May 8, 2014: Some of these reports and fact sheets contain a correction to the number of people who would no longer need SNAP benefits if the minimum wage were raised to $10.10. See state PDFs for details. 

Right now, a parent working full time earning the minimum wage and raising two children is making poverty wages. She struggles to make ends meet and can barely afford basics such as school supplies for her children. But with a higher minimum wage, workers will have more money to spend on basic needs, money that will go back into the local economy, which in turn gives businesses more customers—helping them to hire more workers.

As it stands now, our economy is simply not working for everyone. The economic deck seems stacked in favor of those at the top at the expense of just about everyone else. This has never been more apparent than during this economic recovery, which has seen the stock market surge back, benefiting the wealthiest among us the most. Those at the top—the richest 7 percent of Americans—actually saw their net worth rise, while the rest of us—93 percent of Americans—saw our net worth fall between 2009 and 2011.

What we need is to build an economy that works for all, not just the wealthy few. Raising the minimum wage would be a critical step in ensuring that the economy is working for everyone. It will provide Americans who work hard a better opportunity to get ahead while giving the economy a needed shot in the arm.

To help better frame this conversation, the Center for American Progress Action Fund has compiled a series of state-based reports that outline how raising the minimum wage will kickstart a growing economy and create more opportunities for those who work hard.

For more information, see the following state-based fact sheets:

Anna Chu is the Policy Director for the ThinkProgress War Room at American Progress.

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