A proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 was killed in the U.S. Senate on April 30 when Senate Democrats failed to muster the 60 votes needed to overcome a Republican filibuster. The vote was 54 to 42.
The federal minimum wage, unchanged since 2009, is $7.25.
Republicans argued that the proposed minimum wage hike “throws cold water on job creation,” while Democrats said that a raise is long overdue for the nation’s lowest-paid workers.
Robert Reich, a former Labor Secretary to President Bill Clinton, disputes the claim that a hike in the minimum wage would hurt job creation.
“Raising the minimum wage from the current rate of $7.25 an hour to $9 should be a no-brainer,” Reich says on his website. “Fifteen million workers would get a pay raise, allowing them to buy more and thereby keeping others working.”
A 2010 study published in The Review of Economics and Statistics found that increasing the minimum wage at the state level has not lead to the short- or long-term loss of low-paying jobs. As the chart illustrates, economic growth in the 17 states that had a minimum wage level above the federal level was roughly the same as in the other states. The dotted line represents the 17 states with a higher minimum wage and the solid line represents the others.