INCREASING THE MINIMUM WAGE
WHEREAS, The U.S. Conference of Mayors has long been an advocate of increasing the federal minimum wage to reduce the hardship on low-income workers; and
WHEREAS, real median income increased by 0.6 percent between 2004 and 2005, but all of that increase occurred among the top 20 percent of income earners, and the percentage change in real median income for each of the bottom four quintiles declined; and
WHEREAS, since September 1997, the purchasing power of the minimum wage has deteriorated by 20 percent and, after adjusting for inflation, the value of the minimum wage is at its lowest level since 1955; and
WHEREAS, wage inequality has been increasing, in part because of the declining real value of the minimum wage, which currently is 31 percent of the average hourly wage of American workers, the lowest level since the end of World War II; and
WHEREAS, Conference President Trenton Mayor Douglas Palmer sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi early in 2007 expressing support for legislation increasing the federal minimum wage from $5.15 per hour to $7.25 per hour over the next two years; and
WHEREAS, Congress approved legislation on May 24 which was signed into law by the President on May 25 increasing the federal minimum wage to $7.25 per hour over the next two years,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The United States Conference of Mayors commends Congress and the President for enacting legislation that will increase the federal minimum wage from the current level of $5.15 per hour to $7.25 per hour over the next two years.