BFMW In the News

Investopedia: Can a Family Survive on the U.S. Minimum Wage?

Minimum wage is meant to be a living wage, but falls short by a lot

By Andrew Bloomenthal
Investopedia, Aug 18, 2020

The federal minimum wage in the United States is $7.25. It is meant to be a living wage, but this isn't the case in practice. The hourly rate hasn’t kept up with the cost of living since the late 1960s. ...

In 1933, five years before the first minimum wage became law, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said: “By living wages, I mean more than a bare subsistence level. I mean the wages of a decent living." ...

Washington Business Journal: 'A Band-Aid on a gunshot wound:' Small businesses desperately look to Congress for more relief

By Andy Medici
Washington Business Journal, Aug 11, 2020

... Boloco co-founder John Pepper’s journey began as part of a business school project, eventually growing to 22 locations that he sold to a private equity firm before buying it back years later to save what remained of the ailing chain. Set up as a B Corporation that balances profits with social value, Pepper put most of the profits into paying employees and promoting from within.

CBS News: It's been a record 11 years since the last increase in U.S. minimum wage

By Aimee Picchi
CBS News MoneyWatch, July 24, 2020

It's been 11 years since the last federal minimum wage hike, the longest span the baseline wage has gone without an increase since it began in 1938. 

Since the last federal minimum wage hike — to $7.25 an hour, starting July 24, 2009 — the cost of living has increased 20%, while the price of essentials such as housing and health care have increased even faster. ...

Fast Company: It’s now been 11 years since we raised the federal minimum wage

By Kristin Toussaint
Fast Company, July 24, 2020

The last time the U.S. federal minimum wage was raised was July 24, 2009. For 11 years—now the longest period without a raise in the history of the minimum wage—the federal floor for earnings has been set at $7.25 an hour, or $15,080 a year. Over the course of those 11 years, that amount has lost its buying power to inflation, even as the cost of so many necessities has risen. With the country in an economic crisis because of the COVID-19 pandemic, some employers are calling for the federal minimum wage to be increased to $15 an hour to not only help workers, but also boost struggling businesses.

Wall Street Journal: As $600-a-Week Jobless Aid Nears End, Congress Faces a Quandary

By Eric Morath and Te-Ping Chen
Wall Street Journal, July 21, 2020

Some 25 million Americans are set to lose $600 a week each in federal unemployment benefits at the end of the month, one of the thorniest issues Congress faces when it returns to Washington this week to consider another coronavirus relief bill.

Many people view the payments as a lifeline, and analysts say the $15 billion a week in federal spending has provided vital support to an economy staggering from the effects of the pandemic. ...

CNBC: With pandemic and presidential race, $15 minimum wage could get another push

 

By Melissa Repko
CNBC, July 15, 2020

... July 24 marks 11 years — the longest stretch without an increase since the federal wage was enacted in 1938 [during the Great Depression]. ... Alissa Barron-Menza, vice president of the nonpartisan group Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, said it could be used to stimulate the economy again by putting more money into Americans’ pockets.

“It’s just that kind of shared recovery tool that we need now,” she said. ...

WLNS: Minimum wage hike in 3 states boosts income for battered workers

WLNS, Lansing, MI, July 5, 2020
This article is adapted from CBS News.

Low-paid workers in the U.S. have particularly felt the economic sting from the coronavirus pandemic since they tend to work in “front-line” jobs, such as in restaurants and stores. But some employees are getting a financial lift as three states and 18 cities and counties around the country move to raise their minimum wages.

The Center Square: Illinois’ increased minimum wage during pandemic will impact local governments, nonprofits

By Greg Bishop
The Center Square, July 2, 2020

Illinois’ minimum wage, which increased to $10 an hour this week, isn’t just affecting business owners...

A group called Business for a Fair Minimum Wage said when the minimum wage is increased in places like Illinois, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, D.C., it means more money in the pockets of workers and more consumer spending at local businesses. ...

CBS MoneyWatch: Minimum wage hike in 3 states boosts income for battered workers

By Aimee Picchi
CBS MoneyWatch, July 1, 2020

Low-paid workers in the U.S. have particularly felt the economic sting from the coronavirus pandemic since they tend to work in "front-line" jobs, such as in restaurants and stores. But some employees are getting a financial lift as three states and 18 cities and counties around the country move to raise their minimum wages. ...

The boost could help families that are struggling with the impact of the pandemic-related recession and boost local economies, according to Holly Sklar, CEO of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage. ...

The Hill: Minimum wage increases go into effect in three states, major cities

By Niv Elis
The Hill, July 1, 2020

Higher minimum wages will go into effect for workers in Illinois, Nevada and Oregon, as well as a handful of major cities, starting July 1. ...

“The July 1 raises are welcome increases for the economy, because more money in the pockets of workers means more consumer spending at local businesses," said Holly Sklar, CEO of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage. ...

The last federal minimum wage increase took place 11 years ago.

Yahoo Finance: These 3 states – and Washington, D.C. – are raising their minimum wage

By Ben Werschkul
Yahoo Finance, June 30, 2020

Twenty-one states had minimum wage increases or cost of living adjustments at the beginning of 2020. And now, halfway into 2020, more are set to continue pushing the nation’s average minimum wage upwards even as the federal minimum wage remains at $7.25. ...

"We are just working our way up to what's truly a fair wage in our country," says Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks, president and CEO ECOS, who also works with Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, a group that advocates for higher rates.

USA Today: Minimum wage hikes in three states, 21 localities to aid low-paid workers slammed by Covid-19

By Paul Davidson
USA Today, June 30, 2020. Also in Detroit Free Press, Daily News Journal (TN), Times Herald (MI), Ventura County Star (CA), more

While millions of Americans are losing financial assistance that has kept them afloat during the coronavirus pandemic, several states and 21 localities are partly offsetting the pain with a different kind of lifeline: minimum wage hikes.

On Wednesday, Illinois, Nevada and Oregon are set to raise their pay floors as part of large increases that are being phased in over several years . ...