Congressman Donald Norcross

Representing the 1st District of New Jersey
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Norcross Fights for $15 Minimum Wage

May 25, 2017
News Release
Norcross, Colleagues Introduce the Raise the Wage Act of 2017

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01), a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and a bicameral group of lawmakers introduced the Raise the Wage Act of 2017 that will help working families by raising the federal wage from the current level of $7.25 to $15.00 an hour by 2024 and index the minimum wage to the median wage starting in 2025.

“No American who works full-time should live in poverty. But that’s exactly what’s happening all around us,” said Rep. Norcross. “Working families are struggling to pay their bills and it’s well-past time we give these Americans a fighting chance by raising the federal minimum wage.

He added: "When I was a young single dad in the 1980s, Congress was consistently and sensibly increasing the federal minimum wage. It kept the playing field level and gave hard-working single parents like me a chance. Not any more.

“The system now hurts our economy, hurts taxpayers and is morally offensive. When people finally receive $15 an hour, they’ll spend more, become less reliant on government assistance and give our economy a needed boost.”

The Bill

Norcross is an original sponsor of the Raise the Wage Act of 2017. In addition to raising the wage, the act will also gradually eliminate loopholes that allow millions of workers to be paid substantially less than the federal minimum wage.

Representing the American Worker

An International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) member and electrician by trade, Norcross has a long history of fighting for workers in South Jersey. He fought day in and day out to ensure workers had good-paying jobs as a business agent for IBEW Local 351 and as president of the Southern New Jersey AFL-CIO. In the state legislature, he was part of the successful fight to raise the minimum wage in New Jersey.

By the Numbers

A person working full time at the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour earns $15,080 in a year, which is well below the federal poverty level (for almost all households). A federal minimum wage increase to $15 in 2024 would raise wages for the parents of 19 million children across the United States (which equates to 24% of American children). In total, raising the minimum to $15 in 2024 would directly or indirectly lift wages for 41.5 million workers (which equates to 29% percent of the wage-earning workforce).

Net productivity rose over 73% in the past 42 years, while the hourly pay of typical workers increased only 11%. Hard-working Americans are more productive, but they are not the ones benefitting from the fruits of their labors. The people benefiting, especially in recent years, are those at the top of the food chain. CEOs of large corporations were paid 30 times more than the average worker 30 years ago and they are now making nearly 350 times more than the average American worker. 

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Contact: Ally Kehoe, Communications Director
ally.kehoe@mail.house.gov