Senators who voted against a $15 minimum wage represent three-quarters of the workers who would benefit, study says

Fight for 15 minimum wage protest
Demonstrators participate in a protest outside of McDonald’s corporate headquarters on January 15, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. Scott Olson/Getty Images
  • A new report from the Economic Policy Institute looks at who would benefit from a $US15 ($19) minimum wage.
  • It found that 24 million of the workers who would are in states where senators voted against it.
  • The wage hike wasn’t included in the stimulus package after 7 Democrats voted against it.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Of the 32 million workers who would receive a raise under a $US15 ($19) minimum wage, 24 million are in states where senators voted against it, according to a new report from the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

That works out to 75% of all the workers who would benefit from a higher federal minimum. The 32 million workers who would be impacted represent 21% of the overall workforce, according to the report.

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ push to include a provision for raising the wage to $US15 ($19) by 2025 was voted down on Friday. Seven Democrats – including the moderates Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema – joined Republicans in voting down the measure. Also voting against was independent Angus King of Maine, who caucuses with the Democrats.

The EPI report found that increasing the minimum wage to $US15 ($19) by 2025 would also benefit America’s essential and frontline workers. It would be a wage hike for 19 million of them, around 60% of all workers impacted.

As Insider’s Grace Dean previously reported, almost a third of Black workers would get a raise under the policy; EPI also found that 26% of Hispanic workers would benefit from the bump.

A $US15 ($19) minimum wage has broad support. In an Insider poll, over 60% of respondents said they would definitely or probably support a $US15 ($19) minimum wage. Respondents were more split on when an increase should come into effect: 39% said that, were the increase to go into effect, a “$US15 ($19) minimum wage should be implemented immediately.” Conversely, 50% would “prefer a phased rollout, gradually raising the minimum wage annually to $US15 ($19) in 2025.”

Sanders’ Raise the Wage Act would have raised the federal minimum wage to $US15 ($19) by 2025. Even that schedule wasn’t quick enough for some minimum wage workers.

Cynthia Murray, a Walmart associate and member of United for Respect, testified at a Senate budget committee hearing on the proposed increase.

“We’ve been talking about this issue for years, and not just a couple of years,” Murray told Insider after her testimony. “That’s why I’m saying: When is the time gonna come? 2025 is too late for me, as I see it, for all workers across the country. “

Overall, the EPI report finds that the $US15 ($19) increase by 2025 would have resulted in an annual pay increase of $US3,300 ($4,284) for those working year-round.