May 25, 2017 — Today, Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and Reps. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), introduced the Raise the Wage Act of 2017, a bill that would raise the federal minimum wage in eight steps to $15 per hour by 2024.
A new report from the Economic Policy Institute shows that increase would lift wages for 41 million workers nationwide, reversing decades of growing pay inequality. In Iowa 38 % of workers would be positively impacted by a raise in the minimum wage (state breakdowns here).
“Today’s report shows that raising the minimum wage would be a positive economic step for all working people in Iowa,” said Ken Sagar, President of the Iowa Federation of Labor. “The increase in wages will help stimulate the economy, and create greater business activity and job growth. Workers deserve better, and this would be a great step toward changing the rigged rules of the economy so it benefits all working people. Iowa had increased in place, but recent Republican lead legislation took that away from working people.”
In real dollars, the federal minimum wage has fallen by 10% since 2009, when it last was raised. It is 25% below its peak value in 1968. What that means is that low-wage workers have to work longer hours just to have a standard of living that was considered the bare minimum almost 50 years ago.