Today, Congressman Tom Malinowski voted to pass the Raise the Wage Act, which will gradually increase the federal minimum wage to $15 over six years. This legislation will increase wages for as many as $33 million workers, which translates into an annual pay increase of about $2,760 for the average affected year-round worker once fully phased in. Congressman Malinowski was an original co-sponsor of this legislation.
Over a decade has passed without an increase in the federal minimum wage -- the longest stretch in history. Meanwhile, New Jersey has adopted similar legislation that will raise the minimum wage in our state to $15 an hour by 2024. Nearly 70,000 workers in New Jersey's 7th District alone will benefit, as will our local economy, since low income workers spend virtually every additional dollar they earn at local businesses. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, if not for the minimum wage increase, a New Jersey worker would have to put in 130 hours per week to afford the average 2 bedroom rental home.
"It's a disgrace that in our country a person can work over 40 hours a week and still be living below the poverty line and unable to pay for basic essentials. New Jersey has already acted, and it is past time for the rest of the nation to follow," said Congressman Malinowski.