Those who support a higher minimum wage even have a recommended level: The average response in this group is $10.25 per hour, very close to the $10.10 proposal endorsed by Barack Obama and now before the U.S. Senate.
Support for raising the minimum wage is linked to broader concern about income inequality, a theme sounded by Obama in a speech Dec. 4. Sixty-four percent of Americans say federal policies currently favor the wealthy, and 57 percent say they’d support efforts to try to reduce the wealth gap in this country. Support for boosting the minimum wage soars in both those groups.
Currently $7.25 an hour, the federal minimum wage last was raised in 2009. Obama urged making it $9 in his 2013 State of the Union address, and more recently backed the $10.10 proposal. At the state level, lawmakers in California, New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island have increased minimum wages in the past year, and New Jerseyans voted in an $8.25 minimum last month.