White House touts achievements on raising minimum wage
August 12th, 2014
04:10 PM ET
4 months ago

White House touts achievements on raising minimum wage

(CNN) - With much of the focus in Washington centered on foreign policy issues, the White House is touting a domestic issue that’s been central component of the Democrats’ messaging in 2014 - raising the federal minimum wage.

The administration released Tuesday a report entitled: “A Year of Action: Progress Report on Raising the Minimum Wage.” The 11-page document highlights some of the steps taken by state and local leaders and those in the business community to boost the wage to $10.10 an hour, the rate called for by President Barack Obama in his 2013 State of the Union address.

“The train has left the station with a growing number of states, cities and local businesses on board raising the minimum wage,” Jeff Zients, director of the National Economic Council, said on a conference call with reporters addressing the administration’s report.

The political fight over raising the minimum wage was front and center in the early part of 2014.

In February, the President issued an executive order to increase the minimum wage for federal contractors to $10.10 an hour, but legislation to achieve a similar outcome has not been successful in Congress. In April a bill to boost the federal minimum wage to $10.10 from its current rate of $7.25 an hour died in the Senate.

Key races to watch in 2014

Despite the lack of legislative success, Democrats have continued to make the issue a central part of their platform in the 2014 midterm elections.

Democrats argue that raising the wage would have an immediate positive impact on the economy, as low wage workers are likely to spend some of the additional money they would take in as the result of a wage increase.

“When you put money in people’s pockets, they spend it,” Labor Secretary Thomas Perez said Tuesday.

The administration notes in the report that an increase in the federal minimum wage would benefit up to 28 million workers and that a majority of those workers would be women.

Republicans argue that raising the minimum wage could have a negative impact on hiring, hindering an already slow economic recovery.

A report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released in February showed that gradually raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would have mixed results- lifting 900,000 out of poverty but potentially cost around 500,000 jobs- a decrease of about .3% in employment.


Filed under: 2014 • Minimum wage • White House
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA - Take Back the House

    “When you put money in people’s pockets, they spend it,”
    ------------------------------------
    Duh! I don't understand why republicans in Congress don't get it. Even Rick Santorum & Mitt Romney support raising the minimum wage. Democrats need to continue to make this an issue leading up to the midterms.

    August 12, 2014 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    "See no facts. Hear no facts. Speak no facts."

    Too all of those who claim that raising the minimum wage kills jobs, you cannot deny the fact that the several states that have raised the minimum wage have experienced an uptick in their economies. Six straight months of 200,000+ private sector jobs growth since those states began raising the minimum.

    August 12, 2014 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  3. smith

    Just look at the CBO report..smh. That doesn`t include the fact that cost of living will increase right along with this min. wag increase. I`ve said it before, if there were no negative effects on the economy and only positive effects by raising the min. wage we would have done it 10 times already.

    August 12, 2014 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  4. Gurgyl

    It is long overdue to Raise minimum wage to 14/ an hour. Get rid of republican trash for this.

    August 12, 2014 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  5. YoonYoungJo

    Its too bad this is such an uphill battle. Raising the min wage is a good thing. If consumers in this country had more money to spend, companies wouldn't need to constantly look to foreign soil for greater and greater profits. Growing the overall size of the available spending pie is a good thing for everybody.

    August 12, 2014 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  6. salty dog

    I don't know Smith, the rich view giving a raise as taking cash out of their pockets and into the peoples hands who they think aren't smart or worthy enough for them to voluntarily do that. I guess I'm wondering at what point, or percentage of the money do the "job creators" want before we see jobs. Its trickle down that's the gop wants, and literally the only plan they have, same as it has been since Reagan, we know it doesn't work, they admit it, then tell you the only way to make things better is to do exactly that, shaking my head!

    August 12, 2014 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    The 13 states that have raised their minimum wages on their own, instead of waiting for the GOP/Teatrolls to stop blocking all federal business, are experiencing job growth at a rate approximately 33% higher than the rest of the country. Period. And no, the statistics from the Dept. of Labor are not lying and are not "cooked" to try to produce some magic good result, so stuff your conspiracy theories before you belch them. The numbers don't lie.

    " if there were no negative effects on the economy and only positive effects by raising the min. wage we would have done it 10 times already."

    You live in a cartoon, eh? Or is it just that you haven't taken any time whatsoever to think about this in any other terms but absolutes? Nobody with a brain in their head that understands the issues is arguing it's always good or it's always bad or that if it's ok to raise it by a nickel them it's better to raise it by a dime so why not raise it by a gagillion dollars. Nobody. If you think that the amount by which it is raised isn't carefully calculated, weighed and calibrated to balance positives and negatives and produce the best result, then you simply shouldn't even be part of the conversation. Like a frickin goldfish trying to discuss international maritime law.

    August 12, 2014 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  8. O'drama ya Mama

    People argue that raising the minimum wage would increase the cost of living but when you look at a graph of the two you would see the cost of living continues to rise even as the minimum wage stays the same. Point is there are many other factors involved in regards to cost of living. IMHO raising the minimum wage is trickle up economics. Republicans argue that if we give the corporations money it will flow down to the consumer so why wouldnt the money flow back up to the corporation if we give the money to the consumer?

    August 12, 2014 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  9. Gurgyl

    -if you give corporations money–a. It goes to china, ship jobs to china, b. Corporations evade Taxes. If you raise minimum wage, they work hard show you dollar, spend here at home, thus in parallel economy, you get more products made in USA. You export. You get benefit, so this nation. People pay taxes here. Produce more LED light bulbs at cheaper price, sell here, export.

    August 12, 2014 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  10. Miami Mike

    The CBO released a report stating that raising the minimum wage would result in the loss if thousands of jobs... a VICTORY for an Administration dead set on destroying the US economy!
    Gooooooooo Solyndra!!!

    August 12, 2014 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  11. Rob

    All of the states that have raised the minimun wage have experienced severe job loss and people are suffering. Period. Prices are on the rise as the cost of living has proven to be skyrocketing. Educate yourselves people. Its a mistake to force a wage increase like this. The facts are proving this out.

    August 12, 2014 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  12. Rob

    If people want a higher wage... try earning it.

    August 12, 2014 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  13. J.V.hodgson

    Mixed results we are told
    1) Lifting 900,000 out of poverty savings in benefit programs SNAP etc
    2) Unemployment 500,000 increase .... cost of unemployment benefits already curtailed by the current legislation or lack of it.
    Shall we all stop quoting numbers for dramatic attention and pay attention to what matters i.e the cost benefit analysis.
    Then consider the real world 70 % of USA GDP is consumer spending... so giving more to workers who are consumers who don't really spend as of now and demand grows.
    The offset Oh small businesses will have to lay of people...... who are we kidding the small business owners will simply increase prices to cover the labor cost increase especially places like Wal Mart, McDonalds, KFC etc etc
    While we are currently creating 200K plus jobs a month, many of which it is critically assumed are only part time jobs, over what time frame do we lose 500K jobs certainly not Full time jobs...... they already pay a helluva lot more than $10.10.
    State stats from sniffit also relevant!! Economics 101 the reward for labor is wages not relatively declining wages!?
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    August 13, 2014 01:03 am at 1:03 am |