About 3.6 million Americans were earning at or below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour in 2012, and those weren’t all high school students flipping burgers.
About half of them were 25 or older, a little more than one-third were working full time and a little less than three-fourths had graduated from high school, according to the most recent government data.
A person working full time for minimum wage would take home an annual salary of $15,080. That’s a shade higher than the poverty threshold for a household containing two adults, and about $8,000 less than the poverty line for a family of four.
These are the workers who answer your customer service calls, deliver your pizzas, take care of your children, bag your groceries and serve your food. […]
The New Jersey State Senate voted yesterday to increase the Garden State’s minimum wage to $8.50 per hour, a $1.50 raise that would be effective March 1st. Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) has threatened to veto the bill, due to a provision that would automatically increase the minimum wage according to inflation.
Several New Jersey Republicans tried to use the recent Hurricane Sandy — which decimated Jersey’s shoreline — as justification for opposing the increase:
The aftermath of Sandy, which changed so much about the state, was ever-present in Thursday’s two-hour debate on the Senate floor, giving another wrinkle to a debate that’s largely a moral and philosophical battle. It was still that on the Senate floor Thursday, with Republicans saying a minimum wage increase would hurt businesses and could force layoffs, and Democrats asserting that it’s wrong for New Jerseyans to be paid so little in a place where it’s expensive to live. […]