Five years ago, the federal minimum wage was raised to $7.25, and it has remained there, unchanged. The cost of living, however, has continued to increase. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index inflation calculator, if the minimum had kept up with inflation for the past 40 years, it would now be $10.86.
For many Latino families, the impact of a raise in the minimum wage would be powerful. In a recent report, we showed that Latinos represent only 15 percent of the workforce, yet comprise approximately 24 percent (6.8 million) of the 27.8 million workers that would benefit from boosting the minimum wage to $10.10. Overall, 43 percent of Latino workers earn poverty-level wages, compared to 36 percent of Blacks and 23 percent of Whites.
This evening, at 7 p.m. ET we’ll be joining Speak Hispanic’s Elianne Ramos for a Google+ Hangout with experts, including our own Alicia Criado, who will discuss the current fight to raise the minimum wage at the federal and state level and the impact of raising the wage for low-income workers, particularly women. She’ll also delve into the implications for small businesses and the country’s economy in general. Also on the Hangout, Ramos will discuss this year’s #LiveTheWage campaign, which started last week. We’ll see you online tonight!
•Alicia Criado, Field Coordinator, Economic Policy Project at NCLR
•Carmen Ortiz Larsen, Owner of Aquas, Inc and Vice President at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Montgomery County and member of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage
•Raquel Roybal, Care Coordinator (Albuquerque, NM) and member of OLE (Part of the National Domestic Worker Alliance)
•Katie Hamm, Director of Early Childhood Policy, Center for American Progress