Sioux Falls (July 24, 2014) — It’s been 5 years since the last increase in the federal minimum wage – but now South Dakotans have a choice on Initiated Measure 18 to raise the minimum wage on November 4th.
In recognition of this anniversary, here are 5 reasons to vote Yes on 18:
1) States that raised the minimum wage saw faster job growth. According to state by state hiring data released by the Department of Labor, states that raised the minimum wage at the beginning of this year actually saw faster job growth than states that didn’t raise the minimum wage – contrary to the scare tactics of special interest critics.
Everyday South Dakotans get it: Put money in the pockets of hard working people, and they’ll send it on the things their families need everyday. That boosts consumer demand at small businesses and grows the economy.
2) Small business owners support raising the minimum wage. According to a recent scientific telephone survey, 61% of small business owners support raising the minimum wage. Why? The report says,
“Small business owners believe that a higher minimum wage would benefit business in important ways: 58% say raising the minimum wage would increase consumer purchasing power. 56% say raising the minimum wage would help the economy. In addition, 53% agree that with a higher minimum wage, businesses would benefit from lower employee turnover and increased productivity and customer satisfaction.”
Small businesses get it too: Workers are customers. When workers earn more, they spend more at small businesses and boost the economy.
3) Prices for everyday goods continue to rise, but the minimum wage has stayed the same. That means a South Dakotan’s hard earned dollar actually buys less and less for her family. Since the last increase in the minimum wage:
- The price of milk has increased 21.2%
- The price of eggs has increased 30.3%
- The price of cheddar cheese has increased 21.9%
- The price of gas has increased 44.6%
- The price of electricity has increased 9.2%
- The minimum wage has increased 0%.
Too often, South Dakotans are working harder and harder just to make ends meet. Raising the minimum wage will help working moms and dads support their families in the face of higher and higher prices at the pump and in the supermarket.
4) 62,000 South Dakotans will earn more if Initiated Measure 18 passes. According to preliminary data from Economic Policy Institute, raising the minimum wage will give 62,000 South Dakotans a raise. Who are they?
- 78% are older than 20. These aren’t high school students like special interests will tell you.
- 55% are women – many of whom are supporting families.
5) Raising the minimum wage lifts people out of poverty – and off of government assistance. A full time worker earning the minimum wage makes $14,500 a year, which qualifies many working families for government assistance. Raising the minimum wage will lift many working families out of poverty and reduce the demand for government assistance. It’s a win win for working families and the taxpayers: working families make ends meet, and the public cost of low wages decreases for taxpayers.
Want to help our effort to raise the minimum wage this November? Please make a contribution of $100, $50, $10 or whatever you can afford right away or sign up to volunteer for our effort to raise the wage.