More than 80% of Americans believe that the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is too low, and approximately two-thirds say they support raising it to $15 an hour, according to a survey published Tuesday by Amazon and global market research firm Ipsos.
Notably, the poll of more than 6,000 Americans, conducted in January and early February, found significantly greater support among Black and Latinx Americans for raising the minimum wage than among white Americans. Among Black Americans, 97% said they believe the wage should be increased, as did 80% of Latinx Americans. Meanwhile, only a slim majority of white American (52%) said the wage should be raised.
“Virtually any policy discussion today devolves into partisan debates and experts talking past each other,” said Chris Jackson, senior vice president of public affairs at Ipsos. “Rarely, if ever, do the opinions or preferences of regular Americans enter into these debates, but our study clearly indicates that the American people want to see the federal minimum wage increased. This level of agreement is practically unheard of in contemporary America and reflects an overwhelming public consensus that elected officials should think twice before disputing.”
Although a $15 minimum wage increase did not make it into the historic $1.9 trillion stimulus package signed into law last week, employees in 20 states and 32 cities and counties did see an increase to their minimum wage as of Jan. 1, with 27 of these jurisdictions reaching or exceeding $15 an hour, according to findings from the National Employment Law Project.