Minimum wage should be raised

Serena Erickson, Staff Writer

The federal minimum wage for nonexempt employees in the United States is currently at $7.25, which has not been updated and changed since 2009. Also, the current minimum wage is meant to be a living wage, meaning that a person should be able to make enough money from their paid occupation, to make enough money to live comfortably off of their income. Most low-wage employees’ earnings and family income would increase as a result of an increase in the federal minimum wage, lifting some families out of poverty and giving them the opportunity to pursue a happier life.

“For the default policy based on the Raise the Wage Act of 2021, the minimum wage would be $9.50 in 2023, $11.00 in 2024, $12.50 in 2025, $14.00 in 2026 and $15.00 in 2027 and would be indexed to changes in median wages thereafter,” said the Congressional Budget Office. This means that if the federal minimum wage were to increase exponentially, each family with a job that pays minimum wage would be able to avoid hitting the poverty line.

However, if the minimum wage were to be raised to 15 dollars by the end of 2024, 40 million workers would have an increase in pay. Those workers who would be included in the raise would be 38.6 million adults 18 or older, 23 million women, 5.4 million single parents and the parents of 14.4 million children and more would benefit from the raise of minimum wage. In 1968, the minimum wage was $9.63 which is higher than the current minimum wage, $7.25, by $2.38. However, if the minimum wage had been kept up with the pace of labor productivity after 1968, it would’ve been $18.85 hourly by 2016.