Tuesday, August 21, 2012 by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Today’s Read: Working Full Time and Living in Poverty

Imagine working full time and still living $3,000 below the federal poverty line. This is reality for the over 600,000 New Yorkers earning minimum wage. These folks earn just $15,080 a year. In order to afford a two bedroom apartment at the Fair Market Rent, they would have to work 136 hours/week. (If you do the math, that means just 4 hours a day to sleep, eat, spend time with family...)

Today in Brooklyn, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced the “Fair Minimum Wage Act,” which aims to increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.80 over the next three years and index it to inflation.

Setting a higher federal minimum wage, according to the Economic Policy Institute, a think tank that supports the needs of low and middle-income workers, would boost the income of 651,000 New Yorkers and generate $618 million more in consumer spending at NYC-based businesses.

Raising the minimum wage is a win-win for everyone, but ideally it should be set at a true living wage, or in more basic terms, a wage on which families can survive and afford basic necessities like housing, food, and child care.

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