Multi-American

How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Report: Latinos stand to gain from proposed minimum wage hike

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With the Senate expected to vote in the coming weeks on a federal minimum wage bill, a report from a labor group looks at how a wage hike could affect many Latinos.

Nearly 6.8 million Latino workers would benefit from the proposed wage increase, according to the AFL-CIO, which put together the two-page report with data from the non-profit Economic Policy Institute. The legislation proposes raising the federal minimum to $10.10 an hour in two years.

According to the data, Latino workers comprise 16 percent of the U.S. labor force, but make up nearly 25 percent of the workers who stand to effectively get a raise.

"Many Latino workers work in industries like the service industry, or including the food industry or the restaurant industry, or even farm workers, who earn the minimum wage," said the AFL-CIO's Gonzalo Salvador. They deserve a wage of at least $10.10, that's been proven will allow them to raise their standard of living."

A wage comparison from the report:

Latino men’s salaries are just 67.3 % of their white counterparts and 89% of their black counterparts. Latinas’ salaries are just 73.4 % of their white counterparts and 87% of their black counterparts.

President Obama supports the wage legislation. But it's faced opposition from Republican lawmakers and some economists who say a federal minimum wage increase would create inflation and hurt business, while doing relatively little to ease poverty.

A recent Congressional Budget Office analysis suggested that while raising the federal minimum wage could boost some families out of poverty, it could also prompt job losses.

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