Washington, D.C. — Raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour would increase the wages of 168,000 workers in West Virginia and generate more than $182 million in economic activity in the state, according to a new report released today by the Center for American Progress Action Fund.
The report, which pulls together extensive research on the economic impact of raising the minimum wage, outlines how raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour would create cyclical economic benefits by putting more money in the pockets of workers, which in turn will go back into the local economy and allow businesses to hire more workers to meet growing demand.
Currently, a worker making the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour and raising two children is struggling to make ends meet. For example, one recent study found that families in Charleston, West Virginia need $44,192 to meet minimum standards of living, an amount significantly higher than the $15,080 that a full-time minimum-wage earner in West Virginia makes per year under the current minimum wage.
“For decades now, America’s middle class and working poor have lost tremendous ground due to a lopsided economy that works for the wealthy few,” said Lori Lodes, Senior Vice President of Campaigns and Strategies for the Center for American Progress Action Fund. “Stagnating wages, rising costs, and growing inequality have hurt our economy and have underscored the need to build an economy that works for everyone. Raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour is a critical first step to giving hardworking Americans a better opportunity to get ahead while giving the economy a much-needed boost.”
The release of the report coincides with the Americans United for Change “Give America A Raise” bus tour, which stops today in Charleston. The bus tour is traveling to 10 key states and features local lawmakers, labor leaders, advocates, and low-wage workers, and it will end in Washington, D.C., at an event outside the U.S. Capitol on April 3.
The report also highlights that raising the federal minimum wage will create the following benefits for West Virginia:
- 168,000 workers would receive more than $287.6 million in additional wages from increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.
- Of the 168,000 workers who would receive additional wages from increasing the minimum wage, 58.9 percent are women.
- Raising the minimum wage would help spur $182,081,000 in economic activity in West Virginia.
A report released last month by CAP Action’s partner organization, the Center for American Progress, found that raising the minimum wage will not only benefit workers and the local economy but also will reduce taxpayer costs. According to CAP’s findings, raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour will save the federal government $46 billion over 10 years by lowering government expenditures on nutrition assistance and will reduce participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, formerly known as food stamps. A state-by-state analysis in the report found that raising the federal minimum wage will result in 22,699 to 25,792 West Virginia residents no longer needing SNAP, saving the federal government an estimated $37.9 million.
Read the report: It’s Time To Raise The Minimum Wage: West Virginia by Anna Chu
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