By the numbers: The impact of the $15 minimum wage
Reproduced from the Pew Research Center; Map: Axios Visuals
President-elect Joe Biden is calling for the federal minimum wage to be raised to $ 15 an hour, almost double the current $ 7.25. The move would be the first change to the federal minimum wage since 2009.
Why It Matters: The pandemic exposed the ugly way America treats low-wage workers - even when they are doing important jobs. A rise in the federal minimum wage would put more money in the pockets of many of these essential workers who were on the front lines during the pandemic.
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What to Remember: $ 15 an hour would have a massive impact in smaller cities and in the heart of the country.
Many major metros, including San Francisco and New York, already have minimum hourly wages of $ 15 or more. In these places, the cost of living is so high that $ 15 feels more like $ 12 (see map above).
But in smaller cities, where the minimum wage is much closer to $ 7.25 and the median wage closer to $ 15, the federal bump would make a big difference.
All in all, "An increase in the national minimum to US $ 15 an hour by 2025 would bring 1.3 million workers above wages that bring them below the poverty line," reports CBS, citing an analysis by the non-partisan budget bureau of Congress .
Yes, but: The CBO also estimates the increase could cost $ 1.3 million in jobs as small businesses that can't pay their workers $ 15 an hour lay people off or go out of business.
Go deeper: State minimum wage increases pay off for low-wage workers
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