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Top 10 Reasons to Support a $10 Minimum Wage


 1. It provides a long overdue wage increase for millions of workers.

  • California’s minimum wage has lingered at $8.00 since 2008
  • A $10 minimum wage would boost wages for over 2.3 million Californians
  • The increase would directly benefit 1,616,000 workers currently earning less than $10.00, as well as another 677,000 just above $10.00 per hour(i)


2. It generates economic activity and strengthens recovery.

  • $2.6 billion in additional wages to the state’s lowest-paid workers
  • $1 billion in new economic growth as workers spend their increased wages(ii)


3. It  creates jobs.

  • 7,640 new full-time jobs as businesses expand to meet increased consumer demand(iii)


4.  It increases productivity and reduces turnover

  • Fast food workers affected by San Francisco’s minimum wage increase remained employed for longer periods of time (3.5 months, on average) and were more likely to have full-time jobs(iv)
  • Employers of home care workers in the Bay Area experienced a 57% reduction in turnover following a wage increase (v)


5.  It's especially helpful to adults and single women workers.

  • Three-quarters of minimum wage workers are 20 and older(vi)
  • Most women making minimum wage do not have a spouse’s income to rely on, including more than three-quarters of women 16 and older and 61 percent of women over 25 earning the minimum wage(vii)
  • Two-thirds of minimum wage workers are women(viii)


6.  It decreases demands on public services.

  • A full-time minimum wage worker in California earns only $16,640—well below the $19,530 poverty line for a family of three(ix)
  • Wage increases will mean that far fewer workers will require public assistance to survive 
  • Helps close the Walmart loophole—taxpayers subsidizing large corporations with wages so low that workers qualify for Medi-Cal


7.  Most minimum wage earners work for very profitable companies

  • The three largest employers of minimum wage workers are Walmart, McDonald’s and Yum! Brands (Taco Bell, KFC)
  • The 50 largest employers of low-wage workers have largely recovered from the recession and almost all are in a very strong financial position:
    • Last year, 92% were profitable and top executive compensation averaged $9.4 million
    • Over the past five years, these companies have returned $174.8 billion to shareholders in dividends or share buybacks.(x)

8. It keeps CA from falling farther behind other states and jurisdictions

  • 7 states—all with lower costs of living than California—have higher minimum wages, including Washington, Oregon and Nevada
  • San Francisco and San Jose have indexed minimum wages already far exceeding $8.00—$10.55 in San Francisco and $10.00 in San Jose


9. Democrats, Republicans and Independents all support it—including a strong majority of small business owners.

  • 80% of national respondents to a recent poll favored raising the minimum wage to $10.10, including 62% of Republicans(xi)
  • More than two-thirds of small business owners favor both raising the minimum wage and indexing the level to inflation(xii)


10.  Proposed raises are modest and much less than if our minimum wage had followed inflation, productivity or executive pay.

  • Had California’s 1968 minimum wage been indexed to inflation, the hourly minimum would now be $11.08—39% higher than today(xiii)
  • Had the federal minimum wage kept up with productivity, it would now stand at $21.72(xiv)
  • Were the federal minimum wage indexed to CEO pay, the level would now be around $33 per hour(xv)


[ i] Economic Policy Institute analysis of 2012 Current Population Survey, Outgoing Rotations Group, as cited in the following source: National Employment Law Project. Raising California’s Minimum Wage: A $10.00 Per Hour Minimum Wage Will Boost California’s Economy and Deliver a Meaningful Raise to the State’s Lowest-Paid Workers. August 2013.

[ii] Economic Policy Institute analysis of 2012 Current Population Survey, Outgoing Rotations Group, as cited in the following source: National Employment Law Project. Raising California’s Minimum Wage: A $10.00 Per Hour Minimum Wage Will Boost California’s Economy and Deliver a Meaningful Raise to the State’s Lowest-Paid Workers. August 2013.

[iii] Economic Policy Institute analysis of 2012 Current Population Survey, Outgoing Rotations Group, as cited in the following source: National Employment Law Project. Raising California’s Minimum Wage: A $10.00 Per Hour Minimum Wage Will Boost California’s Economy and Deliver a Meaningful Raise to the State’s Lowest-Paid Workers. August 2013.

[iv] Reich, Michael, Arindrajit Dube and Suresh Nadu. Economics of Citywide Minimum Wages: The San Francisco Model. September 2005.

[vii] NWLC analysis of this DOL 2011 data: U.S. Department of Labor. Labor Force Statistics From the Current Population Survey. 2011.

[ix] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2013 Poverty Guidelines: One Version of the U.S. Federal Poverty Measure. 2013.

[x] National Employment Law Project. Big Business, Corporate Profits and the Minimum Wage. July 2012.

[xi] Winograd, David. 80 Percent Want Minimum Wage Raised to $10.10 Per Hour: Poll. Huffington Post. 6 August 2013.

[xii] Small Business Majority. Small Businesses Support Increasing the Minimum Wage. 24 April 2013.

[xiii] U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. CPI Calculator. Last accessed 7 September 2013.

[xiv] Schmitt, John. Center for Economic and Policy Research. The Minimum Wage is Too Damn Low. March 2012.