Raising the Bar: Increasing the Federal Minimum Wage and the U.S. Workforce

KRA Corporation has been providing management consulting and program operations services in the “education, employment, and training” arena for more than 30 years.  Our support of those Federal, State, and local agencies dedicated to improving the lives of individuals through our innovative workforce development programs across the country has aided us in accomplishing our mission of developing workers and strengthening communities. 

But unfortunately, sometimes having a job isn’t enough. At the current wage of $7.25 per hour, a full-time employee at minimum wage would have an annual income of $14,500. It is a sum that leaves families below the poverty line.

It is why KRA Corporation salutes President Obama’s calling on Congress, during his recent State of the Union address, to increase the Federal minimum wage from its current rate to $9.00 per hour.

As important as this wage hike is, the additional provision to permanently index the minimum wage to inflation is equally as important. It is something that previous increases have failed to take into account, even as the cost-of- living continues to rise.

Since the provision for minimum wage was set up in the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, it has been raised 22 times. If it is raised by Congress, it will impact the wages of an estimated 15 million low-income workers. As part of our commitment to improving the conditions for workforce development, KRA favors any legislation that works in tandem with our ethos.

In the official blog of the U.S. Department of Labor, Work in Progress, Seth Harris posits that increasing wages will have the positive effect of raising morale, stabilizing the workforce, and reducing turnover. A more satisfied worker is the basis for a better working environment.

Indeed, the debate over the effects of raising the minimum wage will continue. On their minimum wage website, the Department of Labor attempts to address what the department sees as “myths” that proliferate around an increase in the minimum wage and it how it affects—among other things—the economy, businesses, and others’ jobs.

KRA Corporation invites this increase as a complement to the work that we do with both our jobseeker- and business customers. The increased wage will make the job market more attractive to those entering it at a lower wage structure and the increased productivity (a by-product of an increase mentioned by economists and corporations like Costco) will directly benefit businesses.

The KRA team will continue to aid in mitigating unemployment in the U.S., and we endorse any work done by those in the Federal government aimed at improving the quality of life for the workforce and as a result, the communities in which we live.