1 in 2 support $15 minimum wage – but will it hurt workers?

September 09, 2014, 3:23 PM GMT+0

Over two-thirds of Americans think that no-one who works full-time should raise a family in poverty, and half support a $15 minimum wage

This last week major protests took place across the United States, combining the strikes of fast food workers with a push by campaigners to increase the minimum wage to as much as $15 an hour, a move Seattle has already made. Currently the federal minimum wage stands at only $7.25 an hour, but many states are considering increasing the state minimum wage beyond the federal minimum. In four heavily Republican states - Arkansas, Alaska, Nebraska and South Dakota - there will be proposals on the ballot in November to do just that.

The latest research from YouGov shows high support for a $15 minimum wage. Nearly half the country (49%) support it, while 39% oppose it. Despite this support for a higher minimum wage, people narrowly tend to think that a higher minimum wage will hurt workers. 44% of Americans think that a higher minimum wage will hurt workers by hitting hiring, while 39% think that it will help workers by giving them a higher income.

President Obama gave a recent statement on the minimum wage where he said that "In America, no one who works full-time should ever have to raise a family in poverty". Overally, 68% of Americans agree with this sentiment while 22% disagree with it. Democrats (83%) overwhelmingly agree with it along with two-thirds of independents. Republicans are more split, with 49% in agreement and 40% opposed to the statement.

Overall, three-quarters of people who earn the minimum wage are twenty years or older, though only 36% of them work full-time according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Full poll results can be found here.

Image: PA