Increasing the minimum wage would have positive effects for individuals and the economy, according to proponents. The federal minimum wage was set at $7.25 per hour in 2009. Proposals for an increase include $9 and $10.10. State laws vary with some having higher set wages than the federal law.
Here are four benefits supporters say will occur with raising the minimum wage:
Raising the minimum wage would move many families out of poverty, according to a review by the Congressional Budget Office
, although some low-wage jobs would be lost.
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"By raising the minimum wage, it's possible that the U.S. would eliminate some jobs, but increase overall living standards by giving raises to millions of families," writes Jordan Weissmann, senior business and economics correspondent for Slate.
Weissman also pointed out that it would be good for the future of most employees because when wages go up, they don't tend to come down.
More lower-income people would have more money in their pockets, so this would help boost the economy. A study in 2011 by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago revealed that a one-dollar raise in wages increased spending by $2,800 a year for families with minimum wage workers, according to CNN.
"One of the best ways to get the economy going again is to put money in the pockets of people who work, who will spend it at small businesses in their communities," Christine L. Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project, tells CNN.
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A raise in the minimum wage would bring it closer in line with inflation. After the wage was raised to $7.25 in 2009, it was still 7.8 percent less than its value in 1967 in 2011 dollars, according to the Economic Policy Institute.
According to Think Progress, if the federal minimum wage
had kept up with inflation since the 1960s, it would now be more than $10 an hour.
A raise in the minimum wage would particularly help minorities, who make up more than 40 percent of minimum wage earners, according to Think Progress.
Women would also benefit to close the gap in wage inequality. They make up about 54 percent of low-wage workers, reports the Economic Policy Institute. Raising the minimum wage would reverse trends that strengthen the policies of employers "and undercut the ability of low- and middle-wage workers to have good jobs and economic security."
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