One of the simplest, most effective actions that Congress could take to help moms across the country this Mother’s Day would be to raise the federal minimum wage. The Raise the Wage Act of 2019—which was introduced this past February, but still has not received a vote—would gradually raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25, where it currently sits, to $15 per hour by 2024. If the bill is enacted, 7.8 million working moms across the country—over 30 percent of all working mothers—would receive a raise. This includes 4.1 million single moms—4 out of every 10 working single moms in the United States. The average working mother impacted by the policy change would receive an extra $3,050 in annual income after the wage change is fully phased in if she works year round.
Raising the minimum wage is always a pro-women, pro-mothers policy because women and mothers are disproportionately represented among low-wage workers. As state minimum wage increases have taken effect over the past 5 years, low-wage workers—especially low-wage women—in those states have had much stronger wage growth than their counterparts in states with no change in the minimum wage. Similarly, raising the federal minimum wage to $15 would disproportionately raise pay for women, while lifting pay for nearly 40 million men and women workers overall.