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The White House
For Immediate Release

WHITE HOUSE VIDEO MESSAGE: Americans Deserve a Minimum Wage Increase


Office of the Press Secretary

EMBARGOED UNTIL 6:00 AM ET, SATURDAY, October 11, 2014

WHITE HOUSE VIDEO MESSAGE: Americans Deserve a Minimum Wage Increase

WASHINGTON, DC – In this week’s address, the U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Pérez made the case for why it’s past time to raise the minimum wage. Increasing the national minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would benefit 28 million Americans, and make our economy stronger. While Republicans in Congress have blocked this commonsense proposal, a large and growing coalition of state and local leaders and owners of businesses large and small have answered the President’s call and raised wages for their residents and employees. This progress is important, but there is more than can be done. No American who works full time should have to raise a family in poverty. That’s why the President will continue to push Congress to take action and give America its well-deserved raise.

The audio of the address and video of the message will be available online HERE.

Remarks of U.S. Secretary of Labor, Thomas Pérez

Spanish Weekly Address

The White House

October 11, 2014

Hi, everybody.  For the first time in more than 6 years, the unemployment rate is below 6%.  Over the past four and a half years, our businesses have created more than 10 million new jobs.  That’s the longest uninterrupted stretch of private sector job creation in our history. 

But while our businesses are creating jobs at the fastest pace since the ‘90s, the majority of families haven’t seen a raise since the ‘90s.  That’s why the President and I are going to keep pushing policies that will create more jobs and raise wages faster – policies like rebuilding our infrastructure, making sure women are paid fairly, including Latinas who earn 56 cents for every dollar earned by a Caucasian man, and making it easier for young people to pay off their student loans.

But one of the simplest, fastest ways to start helping folks get ahead is by raising the minimum wage.

Ask yourself: could you live on $14,500 a year?  That’s what someone working full-time on the minimum wage makes.  If they’re raising kids, that’s below the poverty line.  And that’s not right.  A hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay.

Today, a worker on the federal minimum wage earns $7.25 an hour.  It’s time to raise that to ten-ten.

Raising the federal minimum wage to ten dollars and ten cents an hour would benefit 28 million American workers including Latinos who account for a quarter of current minimum wage workers. 

But Congress hasn’t voted to raise the minimum wage in seven years.  That’s why, since the first time the President asked Congress to give America a raise, 13 states, 21 cities and D.C. have gone around Congress to raise their workers’ wages.  Five more states have minimum wage initiatives on the ballot in November.  More companies are choosing to raise their workers’ wages.  And the President has done what he can on his own by requiring federal contractors to pay their workers at least ten-ten an hour. 

We believe that in America, nobody who works full-time should ever have to raise a family in poverty.  America deserves a raise right now and should forever be a place where your hard work is rewarded. 

Thanks, and have a great weekend.