The fight for an increased minimum wage has gained steam over the last year, with many cities adopting a $15/hour minimum wage, and some states such as New Jersey, considering a statewide higher wage. While the federal minimum wage remains at $7.25, the Obama administration has pushed for legislation increasing the wage, and the Democratic Party has now included passage of a $15 minimum wage as part of its platform.
Raising the minimum wage has several benefits. First, on obvious benefit is that those lower wage earners would increase their take home pay. This could in turn raise the family income, and reduce the number of families living in poverty.
Further, the increase in pay could boost the local economies where lower wage workers live. Statistics show that the increased dollars earned are used to buy necessities – such as food, clothing and shelter – and as a result, more money would flow into these businesses. While opponents claim that a higher minimum wage may lead to job loss, studies show that this is not the case.