Better for Our Workers, Communities, and Businesses -- D.C. Living Wage Town Hall

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Demos Senior Legislative & Policy Associate Ben Peck joined the D.C. City Councilmen's Living Wage Town Hall.

Using economic data alongside Demos' recent report, Retail's Hidden Potential, Ben dispels the ominous predictions of Walmart lobbyists. Rather than crippling businesses and pulling down the economy, a living wage could give badly needed money to employees who could then spend it on the goods and services they need.

Read the full report: Retail's Hidden Potential

The Effect on Workers and Their Families

  • A wage standard equivalent to $25,000 for a full-time, year-round employee would lift 734,075 people currently in poverty – including retail workers and the families they support – above the federal poverty line.

  • An additional 769,191 people hovering just above poverty would see their incomes rise to above 150 percent of the poverty line.

The Effect on Job Creation

  • As a result of the economic growth from a wage increase, employers would create 100,000 to 132,000 additional jobs.

The Effect on Companies

  • The cost of the wage increase amounts to $20.8 billion, or just 1 percent of the $2.17 trillion in total annual sales by large retailers.