It's Time to Raise the Minimum Wage

Cathy Junia |

For too many working families across the country, everyday life has become almost like a game of rock, paper, scissors — only it’s rent, food or healthcare. With the cost of basic goods on a steady climb and the federal minimum wage stagnant, millions of hardworking wage earners are forced to support their families on poverty-level wages.

Today marks the third-year anniversary of the last increase in the federal minimum wage. Since July 24, 2009, the federal wage floor has been stuck at $7.25 per hour, or just over $15,000 per year for a full-timeworker.

Nelp on corp-profits

According to a recently-released report by the National Employment Law Project, most of the nation’s largest low-wage employers –led by Walmart, McDonald’s and Yum! Brands– have fully recovered from the recession and are now enjoying strong profits. Meanwhile, millions of workers still struggle to survive.

These companies can afford to pay their workers better. It’s time for a raise! (graphic courtesy of NELP)


The top 50 low-wage employers examined, which together employ nearly eight million workers, have largely recovered from the recession:

  • 92 percent were profitable last year
  • 78 percent were profitable for the past 3 years
  • 75 percent are earning higher revenue now than before the recession
  • 63 percent are earning higher profits now than before the recession
  • 63 percent have a higher operating margin (a measure of profitability) now than before the recession
  • 73 percent have higher cash holdings now than before the recession

Putting money back into the pockets of America's workers is the right thing to do for the economy and workers. If the federal minimum wage kept up with inflation during the last 40 years, it would be $10.55.

Today, thousands of workers, people of faith and allies will gather in cities across the country to tell Congress and low-wage employers it's time to increase the nation’s minimum wage. Click here to find an action near you.

Get involved and join thousands of workers and allies across the country in pushing for an increase in the federal minimum wage.