16-year veteran skycap Fred Harris prepares multiple baggage tags for a traveler at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in SeaTac, Wash.
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Most Americans want to raise the minimum wage

Updated

Public support for a hike in the minimum wage continues to rise, according to a new Gallup poll out Monday. A full 76% of respondents told Gallup they would vote for a hypothetical national referendum raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.00 per hour. That’s a 5% increase from when the same question was asked eight months ago.

President Obama proposed raising the minimum wage to $9 per hour in his 2013 State of the Union address, but has since reportedly thrown his support behind legislation that would bring it up even higher, to $10.10 per hour. While the prospects of getting any wage increase through the Republican-controlled House are still fairly dim, activists have had some success on the state and local level. Last week, the town of SeaTac, Wash., even voted to increase its minimum wage to $15.00 per hour.

Although Americans polled by Gallup were less likely to support tying the minimum wage to inflation, causing automatic increases in the future, a substantial majority—69%—still supported the proposal. Both President Obama’s original $9 bid and the proposed $10.10 legislation would tie future minimum wage increases to the Consumer Price Index.

If the federal minimum wage had kept up inflation since its 1968 peak, it would now be work about $10.58. Had it kept up with productivity and inflation, it would be worth $21.72 per hour.

Economic Inequality, Labor and Minimum Wage

Most Americans want to raise the minimum wage

Updated