This bill increases the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour over two years. Increasing the minimum wage to $7.25 per hour would bring a pay raise for up to 13 million Americans.
Raising the minimum wage would provide an additional $4,400/year for a family of three, equaling 15 months of groceries, or over two years of health care - helping them to keep up with rising costs.
Nearly 13 million people would likely benefit from the increase - 5.6 million directly and 7.4 million indirectly. This includes 7.7 million women, 3.4 million parents, and 4.7 million people of color.
It is wrong to have millions of Americans working full-time and year-round and still living in poverty. At $5.15 an hour, a full-time minimum wage worker brings home $10,712 a year -nearly $6,000 below the poverty level for a family of three.
A minimum wage increase is particularly important at a time when America's families have seen their real income drop by almost $1,300 since 2000, while the costs of health insurance, gasoline, home heating, and attending college have increased by almost $5,000 annually. [Government Reform, 9/21/06]
The minimum wage has not increased in more than nine years - the longest period in the history of the law. During that time, Members of Congress have received a $31,600 pay raise. The real value of the minimum wage has plummeted to its lowest level in 51 years. [Economic Policy Institute, 6/06]
An average CEO earns more before lunchtime in one day than a minimum wage worker earns all year. [EPI, 6/2706]