An estimated 332,000 Iowans would see direct or indirect benefits from an increase in the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.80 per hour by July 2014, according to a new analysis.
The Economic Policy Institute, a nonpartisan public policy research organization in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday released a report that examined the state-by-state impact of an increase in the national minimum wage. Iowa moved to the current $7.25 minimum wage in January 2008.
"Low-wage workers in Iowa have been waiting for an increase longer than most - four and a half years and counting," said David Osterberg, executive director of the nonpartisan Iowa Policy Project, in a release.
According to the report, about 225,000 workers out of Iowa's work force of more than 1.4 million would be directly affected by an increase in the minimum hourly wage. Another 106,800 would benefit indirectly. The total wage increase for Iowa is estimated at $419 million a year.
The report's authors said the proposal to increase the minimum wage to $9.80, which has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Tom Harkin, (D-Iowa), and in the House by Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), would benefit more than just low-wage workers.
"Raising the minimum wage would help workers still reeling from the effects of the recession and would provide a much-needed boost for the economy," authors Doug Hall and David Cooper wrote.
The authors said that during the phase-in period for the increase, the national gross domestic product would increase by about $25 billion, creating a net increase of about 100,000 jobs.