Raising the minimum wage to just $10.10 per hour would pull more than half of the nation's working poor out of poverty, according to a new study.
The study, by the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, a national organization focusing on racial equity in the restaurant industry, discovered that nearly 58 percent -- or roughly 6 million -- of the 10.4 million U.S. workers living below the federal poverty level in 2011 would be pulled out by such an increase. (Proposed legislation introduced to Congress earlier this year by Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) called for just that.)
The Bureau of Labor Statistics defines the working poor as those who either had jobs, or were looking for at least half the year and still fell below the poverty line.
A similar piece of legislation, introduced by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) in March, additionally proposes tying the minimum wage to prices in the economy. As of today, the minimum wage is actually worth $2 less than it was in 1968, when adjusted for inflation, according to a June study by the non-partisan Economic Policy Institute.
President Barack Obama also called for an increase to the federal minimum wage in his State Of The Union Address in February. While doing so, he said "no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty."