Increasing the minimum wage is important not only for family economic stability but in support of the overall economy. Low-wage workers are more likely to spend additional earnings on basic needs and services that they previously could not afford. In turn, demand for local businesses and services rises, strengthening local economies and offsetting any cost increase for businesses. A report from the Economic Policy Institute found that increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 by 2015 would have resulted in a $32.6 billion net increase in economic activity over the phase-in period and generate approximately 140,000 new jobs.
Raising the minimum wage is also necessary to close the racial wealth gap. One of the biggest drivers of this gap is household income and people of color are overrepresented among low-wage workers. Though only 32 percent of the total workforce, people of color represented 42 percent of low-wage workers in 2013. Increasing the minimum wage would particularly benefit workers of color by raising household income and helping them reach parity with their white counterparts.