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President Obama Announces Wage Increase and the US Paralympics Delegation

Raising the Minimum Wage through Executive Order to $10.10 for Federal Contract Workers & Calling on Congress to Finish the Job for All Workers by Passing the Harkin-Miller Bill

In his 2014 State of the Union address, President Obama announced his intention to move forward using his own authority and raise the minimum wage for workers on new and replacement Federal service, construction or concessions contracts to $10.10 an hour. As the President said, “If you cook our troops’ meals or wash their dishes, you shouldn’t have to live in poverty.” 

The Executive Order will benefit hundreds of thousands of people working under service, construction or concessions contracts with the federal government who are making less than $10.10 an hour. It will also improve the value that taxpayers are getting from the federal government’s investment. Studies show that boosting low wages will reduce turnover and absenteeism, while also boosting morale and improving the incentives for workers, leading to higher productivity overall. These gains improve the quality and efficiency of services provided to the government.   

The Executive Order covers individuals with disabilities.  Speaking on the importance of raising the minimum wage before signing the Executive Order, the President said: There’s a simple moral principle at stake -- if you take responsibility and you work as hard as these folks work, if you work full-time, you shouldn’t be living in poverty. Not in America. We believe that. And this executive order will cover Americans with disabilities because this principle doesn’t just apply to some of us; it applies to all of us.

Under current law, workers whose productivity is affected because of their disabilities may be paid less than the wage paid to others doing the same job under certain specialized certificate programs. Under this Executive Order, all individuals working under service, construction or concessions contracts with the federal government will be covered by the same $10.10 per hour minimum wage protections. 

Read President Obama's remarks on the importance of raising the minimum wage delivered before signing the Executive Order.

This Executive Order will also give a boost to hardworking Americans struggling to make ends meet, and the President still believes that Congress should act to do the same for millions more. Read the Executive Order Fact Sheet

Read presentation prepared by the Council of Economic Advisers, The Economic Case for Raising the Minimum Wage.