Braley Report Highlights Need for Changes in the Minimum Wage

Jan 9, 2014 Issues: Economy and Jobs

Braley champions measure to raise minimum wage to $10.10, helping Iowa families and economy

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today released a report highlighting the need to reform the minimum wage in Iowa and across the country. The report, titled “Restoring the Minimum Wage”, takes an in-depth look at the role the minimum wage has historically played and the factors that have led to so many minimum wage workers living in poverty despite having full-time jobs.

Braley said, “Iowans getting up and working difficult full-time jobs shouldn’t come home to find themselves and their families living in poverty. High income earners have seen a lot of success recently, but we need to level the playing field for the Iowa families that are living paycheck to paycheck.

“It’s time we restore the minimum wage to a living wage. Reforming the minimum wage would ensure a better life for hard workers, increase purchasing power, improve the economy, and create jobs.”

Since 1968, Iowans making the minimum wage have seen their real incomes fall by more than 30 percent. This means a parent with one child working 40 hours at a minimum wage job is living in poverty. Today, about 25,000 Iowans works minimum wage jobs and another 21,000 work jobs paying below the minimum wage.

Braley’s report examines how the purchasing power of minimum wage earners have decreased dramatically over time, resulting in many minimum wage earners living in poverty despite working 40 hours a week. The report also illustrates that over time the gap between minimum wage earnings and earnings of the average worker has steadily grown.

Additionally, the report looks at the demographics of minimum wage workers in Iowa and nationwide, as well as the economic impact of the minimum wage on the broader economy.

The report concludes that the solution to remedy the disparities created through the minimum wage is to restore the minimum wage to its previous purchasing power, and index it to an appropriate economic index for inflation, such as the Consumer Price Index.

Braley’s report on the minimum wage can be downloaded at the following link: http://1.usa.gov/1iebg40.