In addition to the many other benefits we've spotlighted about raising the minimum wage, a new report released by the AFL-CIO today finds that raising the minimum wage would help millions of African American families. The report, which is based on Economic Policy Institute (EPI) data, shows that African Americans often live in a state of economic insecurity and that raising the minimum wage would be an effective way to counter that insecurity for some 4 million African Americans.
Here are five ways that raising the minimum wage would help African Americans:
1. African Americans comprise 14.8% of the country's workforce, but 28.4% of the workers who would be affected by increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. That means 4,123,000 African American workers would get a raise.
2. The African American unemployment rate is 14%, higher than the unemployment rate for whites (6%) and Latinos (9.8%). Raising the minimum wage would help close that gap.
3. EPI estimates that raising the minimum wage would create 85,000 net new jobs, many of which would go to African American workers.
4. African American men make only 72% of what white men make. African American women make 85% of what white women make. Raising the wage would help lessen those disparities.
5. Many African Americans don’t make enough money to save for retirement. As of 2010, only 43% of African American workers ages 26–61 were part of an employer-based retirement plan, compared to 50% of white workers. Raising the wage would allow more African Americans to save for retirement.