Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) released the following statement on the 75th anniversary of the signing of the Fair Labor Standards Act:
"Seventy-five years ago, as the U.S. was still to emerge from the Great Depression, a major worker rights law was enacted. The Fair Labor Standards Act incorporated a number of important provisions including the establishment of a minimum wage. This timing is all the more surprising given some of the modern rhetoric by those opposing a minimum wage increase today.
Wages for most workers are being left behind. The pay of minimum wage workers isn't keeping up with inflation. Six years have passed since the last minimum wage increase was enacted. Pay for the middle class is stagnant while the gap between the haves and have nots widens. The purchasing power of the minimum wage is down 30% from its peak in 1968. Adjusting for inflation, the 1968 minimum wage would be more than $10.50 today.
That is why I support legislation to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour and to thereafter index the wage to inflation. This will be an important step to address an imbalance that can cause a full-time worker trying to support their family to be paid below the poverty level. A full-time minimum wage worker today earns $15,080 -- below the poverty line for a single parent with the actual cost of raising a child much higher.
Increasing the minimum wage will help workers make ends meet, offer a lift up the ladder to the middle class and boost the economy by stimulating new spending."