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In 2014 the subject of raising the minimum wage has consistently been in the news. During the State of the Union Address, President Obama asked Congress to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 and hour to $10.10 an hour. In August the White House put out a report on the progress that’s been made across the country.
While some detractors say that the minimum wage only affects part-time workers and teenagers, the U.S. Department of Labor notes that the majority of those earning a minimum wage (53 percent) are working full-time. They report that 88 percent of those who would benefit from an increase in the federal minimum wage are working adults, and 55 percent are working women.
Many Americans support the increase. A national poll conducted this year by the Pew Research Center found that the public overwhelmingly (73 percent of those surveyed) favors raising the minimum wage. A recent survey by CareerBuilder indicates that employers are on board as well.
The nationwide poll done by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder found that a sizeable majority (62 percent) of employers support raising the minimum wage in their state. Nearly half of respondents said that a fair minimum wage would fall between $10 and $14 per hour. The breakdown of employee responses to the survey was:
The reason cited most by employers (74 percent) for raising the minimum wage was that it can improve the standard of living. Many thought that it might have a positive effect on retaining employees (58 percent). Others noted it could help bolster the economy (55 percent) and increase consumer spending (53 percent).
The top three reasons employers gave for not increasing the minimum wage were: that it might cause employers to hire fewer people (66 percent), that it could cause issues for struggling small businesses (65 percent), and it might create an increase in prices to offset labor costs (62 percent).