NCLR: Senate Missed an Opportunity to Help the American Workforce by Raising the Minimum Wage

April 30 2014



Joseph Rendeiro
(202) 776-1566

Earlier today, the U.S. Senate took a procedural vote on the “Minimum Wage Fairness Act” (S. 2223), legislation that would raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour by the year 2016. The bill would also adjust the minimum wage each year to keep pace with the rising cost of living beginning in 2016 and substantially raise the minimum wage for tipped workers, who currently earn just $2.13 per hour. NCLR (National Council of La Raza) is disappointed that the bill failed to move forward within the chamber, despite the broad bipartisan support that exists among the majority of Americans who favor raising the federal minimum wage.

“As the fastest-growing segment of the American workforce, Latinos understand the value of hard work. Unfortunately, there are far too many hardworking individuals in this country who struggle to provide basic necessities for their families because they aren’t paid decent, livable wages,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR. “The Senate had the opportunity to remedy this situation and instead turned its back on the millions of American workers who needed this wage boost to help lift themselves out of poverty. It’s past time that our lawmakers listen to the American people, who overwhelmingly support raising the minimum wage to a level that respects and rewards hard work.”

Although Latinos are overrepresented in several high-growth occupations, those occupations also tend to pay below-median wages, leaving full-time workers unable to cover basic family needs. Raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 would boost wages for nearly 28 million workers, including approximately seven million Latinos. The legislation would also be a boon to the economy, increasing consumer spending and spurring job growth.


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