Increasing the Federal Minimum Wage Benefits All of Us
Ann Beeson, executive director of the Center for Public Policy Priorities, made the following statement regarding the efforts to increase the federal minimum wage:
“The Center for Public Policy Priorities supports efforts to raise the federal minimum wage so working families can better meet their most basic needs. The current minimum wage isn’t paying enough for families to make ends meet. With Texas having the third highest percentage of low-wage jobs in the country, many hardworking Texans still make so little that they fall below the poverty line even when they are working more than one job.
Paying hardworking Texans, and all Americans, a decent wage benefits everyone. CPPP supports current legislative proposals to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour for all covered workers, as well as President Barack Obama’s executive action to increasing the hourly wage for federal contract workers.
Increasing the minimum wage boosts communities and the overall economy by enabling more Americans to spend on the basics and move up the economic ladder.”
How Are Texas Workers Affected by a Higher Minimum Wage?
- One in 12 U.S. workers is a Texan, and about 1 in 8 of the affected workers who’d benefit from the increase is a Texan.
- Approximately 1.95 million workers, would directly benefit from a federal minimum wage increase
- 90 percent of minimum wage workers in Texas are 20 years old or older
- 55 percent of minimum wage workers in Texas have children
For more on the characteristics of minimum wage workers in the United States, read this report by the Economic Policy Institute.
Texas and the Current Minimum Wage
- The current minimum wage is $7.25 an hour and hasn’t changed since 2009
- Currently, Texas’ state minimum wage is indexed to the federal minimum wage, meaning it changes as the federal minimum wage changes
- In 2003, the Texas Legislature stripped control from municipalities to enact local minimum wage ordinances
- In 2007, before Congress acted to raise the minimum wage to the current $7.25 per hour, CPPP supported several bills to raise the Texas minimum wage absent federal action
- Right now, cities and municipalities cannot set broad wage standards unless they are tied to a contract.