Support the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2012

Media 06.29.12

Recipient: Representative George Miller

Representative George Miller
U.S House of Representatives
Committee on Education and the Workforce
2205 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative Miller:

On behalf of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 210 national organizations to promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States, we write in support of the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2012, common sense reform that is a key part of the nation’s economic recovery. This bill is needed more than ever to address the shift toward low-wage jobs for working families that the recession has accelerated.

The bill takes three necessary steps that will help working families make ends meet, sustain consumer spending, and spur economic recovery. First, it would raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.80 by 2014. Second, it would index the minimum wage so that it automatically increases every year. Finally, over the course of five years, it would raise the tipped minimum wage to 70 percent of the federal minimum wage, and thereafter, would index it to inflation.  Analysis by the Economic Policy Institute shows that this proposal would benefit more than 28 million Americans, generate more than $25 billion in GDP, and create the equivalent of more than 100,000 full-time jobs.

A stunning 35 million Americans – 26 percent of our workforce – earn less than $10.55 an hour. Of particular concern to The Leadership Conference, a disproportionate percentage of minimum wage earners are women and people of color.

  • 57 percent of minimum wage workers are women, representing 48.9 percent of all women in the workforce.
  • 14 percent are African American, though they make up only 11 percent of the workforce.
  • 23 percent are Hispanic, though they make up only 14.8 percent of the workforce.
  • Overall, 41 percent of minimum wage earners are people of color.

We offer our full support to you as you work to make this bill a law. If you have any questions, please contact Nancy Zirkin, at (202) 263-2880, or Corrine Yu, Managing Policy Director, at (202) 466-5670, regarding this or any issue important to The Leadership Conference.


Wade Henderson
President & CEO

Nancy Zirkin
Executive Vice President