NELP Wants Big Business to Pay Higher Wages, Raise Federal Minimum Wage
NELP says most of the nation’s largest low-wage employers – led by Wal-Mart, McDonald’s and Yum! Brands – have fully recovered from the recession and are now enjoying strong profits. The report also shows that low-wage jobs are disproportionately concentrated in a small number of industries – industries that are growing faster than the rest of the economy. In 2011, half the country’s low-wage workers (52.1 percent) were employed in just five sectors: Food Services, Accommodation, Retail, Administrative Services, and Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation.
NELP says if the federal minimum wage kept pace with the cost of living, it would be approximately $10.55 per hour; the organization notes Democrats in the Congress would raise the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 to $9.80 by 2014, adjust it each year to keep up with the rising cost of living (as ten states already do), and raise the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers.