Via my inbox, Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Katie McGinty is calling for an increase in PA’s minimum wage to $9 an hour. Notably, it appears she also wants to index the minimum wage to the Consumer Price Index. This comes on the same day that Philadelphia’s state Senator Christine Tartaglione is also calling for a $9 minimum wage:
Katie McGinty, Democratic candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania, today proposed raising the state’s minimum wage to get the commonwealth’s economy moving by putting more money into the pockets of hardworking, middle-class Pennsylvania families.
McGinty’s plan would raise state’s minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $9 per hour, and include a cost-of-living adjustment tied to the Consumer Price Index to ensure workers’ wages keep pace with inflation. Adjusted for inflation, the minimum wage today is much lower than it was in the 1960s and 1970s.
“One of the best ways to get the economy moving is to put money into the pockets of people who work,” McGinty said. “Too many wage earners, working moms in particular, are holding down full-time, 40-hour-a-week jobs and still finding it too hard to make ends meet and support families. That’s because the minimum wage hasn’t kept pace with the rising cost of living today. That needs to change.”
Studies show lower wages erode consumers’ spending power, which in turn slows economic growth, since consumer spending remains the biggest driver of the U.S. economy.
In fact, economic growth has been lackluster precisely because wages have not grown appreciably. Consumers remain conservative in their spending, and many remain discouraged from re-entering the work force since wages may not be high enough to pay for child care, clothing, commuting and other work-related costs.
“Wages are directly tied to economic growth and job creation,” McGinty said. “If we want to rev up our economy, then we have to pay people a fair wage that rewards them justly for the contributions they’re making to our economy.”
President Barack Obama recently proposed increasing the federal minimum from $7.25 to $9 per hour. Eighteen states already have passed minimum wage rates above the current federal minimum of $7.25. Eight states and the District of Columbia have a minimum wage equal to or more than $8. New York is in the process of implementing a law that would take its minimum wage to $8 on Jan. 1, 2014, and $9 on Jan. 1, 2016.
Contrary to assertions, minimum wage workers are not mostly teen-agers looking to make extra money. According to the Economic Policy Institute, 88 percent of minimum wage earners are over the age of 20. Around 60 percent of these workers are women.
Learn more by visiting www.KatieMcGinty.com