WHEREAS, increases in minimum wages tend to spur automation; and

WHEREAS, jobsite automation will increasingly be viewed as a positive when ‘baby boom’ generation workers retire, enter nursing homes and need services from an increasingly tight labor market; and

WHEREAS, the current federal minimum hourly wage rate, which has not been adjusted in nearly 10 years, is inadequate to raise families out of poverty; and

WHEREAS, the real value of the minimum wage continues to fall short since its highest level in 1968; and

WHEREAS, millions of workers paid by the hour earn at or below minimum wage and the majority of minimum wage workers are adults; and

WHEREAS, the minimum wage is one factor in wide income disparities, as minorities work disproportionately in minimum wage jobs; and

WHEREAS, minimum wage jobs often lack medical, sick or vacation leave, other benefits and job security; and

WHEREAS, many citizens who cannot survive on minimum wage seek alternatives outside the traditional job market that may, at times, be destructive to them, their families, and to society as a whole; and

WHEREAS, studies have shown that raising the minimum wage does not result in significant job losses, and

WHEREAS, the success of welfare reform is in great measure a function of TANF leavers’ abilities to improve their families’ lives by taking entry level jobs at the minimum wage; and

WHEREAS, an increasingly complex patchwork of minimum wage rates across the country is the likely alternative,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the federal minimum hourly wage rate should be increased to encourage significantly greater labor force participation, spur automation and better enable minimum wage job holders to support themselves and their families.

©2005 The U.S. Conference of Mayors
Tom Cochran, Executive Director
1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Tel. 202.293.7330 ~ Fax 202.293.2352