- Two-thirds of Americans favor raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, with 41% strongly supporting such a measure, according to a Pew Research Center poll. The current federal minimum rate is $7.25 an hour.
- Eighty-six percent of Democrats and democratic-leaning Independents support raising the federal minimum wage. More than half of Republicans (57%) oppose a $15 minimum wage. Twenty-nine percent of Republicans who oppose the increase said they strongly oppose it, according to Pew.
- Study results showed that most women and men, black, Hispanic and white people support raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, although support differs among the groups. More women (72%) than men (61%) support upping the federal wage. The results also showed that most people across all income levels support raising the federal minimum wage to $15. Seventy-four percent of people with annual family incomes of less than $40,000 support the increase, and 61% of those with family incomes of $75,000 or more said the same.
While the debate on the national minimum wage continues, the competition for talent has pressured some companies to go ahead and raise their own minimum wages without receiving a mandate from the federal government. Bank of America, for example, announced in April that it will raise its minimum wage to $20 per hour by 2021. The bank, which said it also incrementally hiked wages starting in 2010, raised its rate to the current $17-an-hour minimum in May.
Walmart's CEO Doug McMillon said he supports raising the federal minimum wage during the company's annual shareholder meeting in June. "$7.25 is too low," he said. "It's time for Congress to put a thoughtful plan in place to increase the minimum wage." The company raised the starting wage for hourly workers to its current $11 an hour last year.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued a study that speculated raising the federal minimum wage could result in joblessness for 1.3 million U.S. workers. According to the CBO, a federal $15-an-hour minimum wage hike could also lower business earnings and raise prices for consumers.