RALEIGH (July 18, 2019) – Working families across North Carolina received good news today, as the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Raise the Wage Act, which raised the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next six years.

The first such raise in a decade, this critical bill will boost the pay of more than 27 million American workers (including 1.6 million in North Carolina alone) and lift more than 1.3 million people out of poverty across the country, according to the Congressional Budget Office. This vote reiterates the basic promise of the American Dream to our nation’s working people, that everyone should earn enough to afford the basics for their families—to put food on the table, gas in their car, and a roof over their heads. No one working full time should live in poverty.

Contrary to the fears of conservative critics, 15years’ worth of state-level minimum wage increases have shown that bold increases in the wage floor have never resulted in the big job losses critics have sometimes hysterically predicted. In fact, job creation in states that saw minimum wage increases over the past year were virtually identical job creation rates as those that did not raise the wage, so it’s unlikely the nation as a whole would see job losses where they haven’t happened in the states. That’s because businesses do better when customers have more money to spend, and this minimum wage increase is the biggest boost

The U.S. House took an important step today to improve the lives of working people. The Justice Center urges the U.S. Senate to follow suit and raise the minimum wage at the earliest convenience.