New media and online updates circulating about increasing the minimum wage:
1. A recent article in the New York Times highlights several different campaigns around the country that are working to raise the minimum wage, including our efforts in Illinois!
Dan Cantor, Executive Director of the New York State Working Families Party, was quoted as saying, “The Occupy movement put inequality on the radar. If we’re serious as a society about poverty and work and decency, the minimum wage needs to eventually become a living wage.”
2. There has been a popular graphic going viral that helps to illuminate just how impossible it is for a family to survive on minimum wage:
How Many Minimum Wage Hours Does It Take To Afford A Two-Bedroom Apartment In Your State?
3. The Center for Economic Policy and Research released a new report on the minimum wage called, “Affording Health Care and Education on the Minimum Wage,” showing that it is nearly impossible for minimum wage workers to afford health insurance and college. As quoted in the report, “the current minimum wage looks even worse when compared to two kinds of purchases strongly associated with a middle-class standard of living or the ability to move up to the middle class: health insurance and a college degree.” The cost of these “middle-class” necessities under the current minimum wage is also compared with what the cost would have been under the minimum wage in 1980, which shows how sharply the minimum wage has decreased in value.
CEPR also released a new issue brief, which uses different benchmarks like Consumer Price Index, wages and productivity growth, to show that, “by any reasonable measure, there is a lot of room to increase the minimum wage above its current level.” When using productivity as a benchmark, the brief says that, “If the minimum wage had continued to move with average productivity after 1968, it would have reached $21.72 per hour in 2012 – a rate well above the average production worker wage. If minimum-wage workers received only half of the productivity gains over the period, the federal minimum would be $15.34. Even if the minimum wage only grew at one-fourth the rate of productivity, in 2012 it would be set at $12.25.“