At a briefing at the Economic Policy Institute on Tuesday, January 14, 2014, Jason Furman (Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers), Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) and Lawrence Mishel of the EPI discussed the economic case for raising the federal minimum wage and the path forward to enact the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013.
At the event, EPI released a letter from economists, including seven Nobel Prize laureates, endorsing a $10.10 minimum wage.
The Fair Minimum Wage Act, introduced by Harkin and Miller, would raise the federal minimum wage in three incremental increases of $0.95 from its current level of $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour. The Harkin-Miller bill would then index the minimum wage to inflation, so that as prices rise in subsequent years, the minimum would automatically be adjusted. At the same time, the bill would raise the base wage paid to tipped workers from the current $2.13 per hour—where it has stood since 1991—in incremental increases over six years until it equals 70 percent of the full minimum wage.
EPI research shows the Harkin-Miller bill would give a raise to 27.8 million workers, who would receive about $35 billion in additional wages. A $10.10 minimum wage would increase GDP by $22 billion, creating roughly 85,000 new jobs.
- Jason Furman, Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers
- Sen. Tom Harkin, (D-Iowa) Chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education and Labor and Pensions
- Rep. George Miller, (D-Calif.), Senior Democrat – House Committee on Education and the Workforce
- Lawrence Mishel, President of the Economic Policy Institute