$1.90 may not sound like much money. It won’t buy a loaf of bread, a gallon of gas, or a jar of peanut butter. But for hundreds of thousands of low-income workers in Massachusetts, raising the minimum wage by $1.90 – to $9.90 an hour – would make a huge difference.
An increase of just $1.90 would help take the edge off budgets that account for every penny, allowing parents to buy clothes for their kids, fix their ars and put food on the table. But it’s not just low-income workers who benefit – raising the minimum wage would boost the entire economy.
According to a new report published by the Economic Policy Institute, raising the federal minimum wage would increase the national GDP by $25 billion. Right here in Massachusetts, the wage increase would generate nearly $545 million in additional income for more than 463,000 workers. The increased buying power of those workers will create an estimated 1,700 new jobs statewide – putting to rest critics’ claims that fair wages might slow economic growth.
We’re not just talking about high school kids working summer jobs, either. Educated adults with high school and even college diplomas, single parents and married couples relying on each other to help make ends meet will all benefit from an increase in the minimum wage. Each full-time Bay State worker would take home an additional $658 per year under the new plan. For thousands of parents and seniors making $16,640 a year, that means a lot.
We need an economy that helps people lift themselves up – one where employees are paid fairly for their hard work. It’s beyond time for congress to take action and raise wages for working families, and we’re calling on our elected officials to do what’s right for Massachusetts workers.