We’ve all heard by now that raising the minimum wage is on the docket for 2014 – and it’s easy to see why. Currently, Minnesota has one of the lowest minimum wages in the country, coming in at an underwhelming $6.15. This sits well below the federal rate of $7.25 (which is also being considered for a raise).
You may be asking, “Why is this a big deal?” Well, let me tell you. Raising the minimum wage will positively affect the quality of life for thousands in Minnesota, while also providing a boost to our local economy.
If we increase the minimum wage, more than 350,000 workers will get a raise. Of that group, 77% are over 20 years old, and 45% have at least some college education. Additionally, 56% are women, and over a third are married or parents. This doesn’t only help the parents, but their families as well. Over 137,000 children in Minnesota would benefit from their parent’s or guardian’s raise. Yes, you read that correctly – this would impact more than a 100,000 kids.
Increasing the minimum wage is also good for the local economy because it would boost consumer spending power in Minnesota by over $472 million.
$7.25 an hour used to ensure that a family of three could live above the poverty line. But times have changed, and today, it simply won’t do. This issue has spread to twenty-nine states and is surprisingly gaining vocal support from big conservative donors like Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal, who has backed California’s $12 minimum wage ballot initiative.
So yeah, taken all together, raising the minimum wage seems like the smart thing to do. Not to mention it’s also the right thing to do for working Minnesota families.
People working full-time deserve to live out of poverty, and many progressive leaders have already committed to help make this change to improve Minnesota’s middle class.
It’s definitely time to give working Minnesotans a raise.