(Map from the U.S. Department of Labor.)
(Map from the U.S. Department of Labor.)

INSTITUTE INDEX: The case for raising the minimum wage

Level to which President Obama called for increasing the federal minimum hourly wage in this week's State of the Union address, while indexing it to rise automatically with inflation: $9

Current federal minimum hourly wage: $7.25

Annual income of someone who works full-time at today's minimum wage, with no vacation: $15,080

Amount to which that would increase under the president's plan: $18,720

If the minimum hourly wage had kept pace with inflation since its real-value high in the late 1960s, level it would be at today: $10.56

Of the jobs lost during the recession, percentage that were in lower-wage occupations: 21

Of the jobs gained during the recovery, percentage that were in lower-wage occupations: 58

Number of workers who would benefit from an increase in the minimum wage: 21 million

Portion of minimum-wage workers who are women: almost 2/3

Portion who are parents: 1/4

Percentage who are black: 14.2

Who are Hispanic: 23.6

Who are white: 56.1

Amount that a proposed 2012 hike in the minimum wage to $9.80 an hour would have increased Gross Domestic Product, which measures a nation's standard of living: about $25 billion

Number of new jobs it would have created: 100,000

Number of states that set minimum wages higher than the federal standard: 19

Of those states, number in the South: 1*

Number of states that set minimum wages lower than the federal standard: 4

Of those states, number in the South: 2**

Number of states that index their minimum wage to inflation: 9

Of those states, number in the South: 1***

According to a 2012 survey, percentage of likely voters who support raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour and indexing it to inflation: 73

Percentage of Democrats who support such an increase: 91

Percentage of independents: 74

Percentage of Republicans: 50

Number of business leaders and small business owners who signed a statement supporting the last increase in the federal minimum wage in 2007: nearly 1,000

Number of studies that have found raising the minimum wage does not cause an increase in unemployment, as claimed by Republicans opposed to the president's proposal: over 20

* Florida ($7.79/hour)
** Arkansas ($6.25.hour) and Georgia ($5.15/hour)
*** Florida

(Click on figure to go to source. For a larger version of the map, click here.)

Image: 
(Map from the U.S. Department of Labor.)
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