Midterm elections are this Tuesday, November 4th and minimum wage is a hot topic on this year's ballot. The national minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour, but many people want to raise this amount. In his State of the Union address earlier this year, POTUS himself argued in favor of raising it to $10.10 an hour.
Meanwhile, states can set their own minimum wage laws regardless of what the national rate is. The majority of states have minimum wages at or above $7.25, but a few -- Arkansas, Georgia and Wyoming -- have rates lower than this. In cases like these, the national law overrides the state one.
Some states go above and beyond the federal rate, though. In Washington and Oregon, for example, minimum wage is over $9. And depending on the results of this Tuesday's elections, more states may soon join the increasing-minimum-wage party.
Alaska, Arkansas, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota are considering raising their state minimum wages by a few dollars -- all the way up to $10 an hour in Illinois -- in this Tuesday's midterm elections. An extra buck or two may not seem like much, but that cash adds up quickly.
To prove it to you, we broke down how much of a difference an extra $2.85 per hour -- the difference between the national minimum wage of $7.25 and Obama's proposed $10.10 -- could make in someone's daily life. At $7.25 an hour, a full-time employee will make $13,920 a year. At $10.10 an hour, the same worker would make $19,392 annually. That's an extra $5,472 to spend on housing, food, medical expenses and, well, life in general.
We're using Pennsylvania -- whose statewide minimum wage is $7.25 -- in our example below, but the gist is the same for pretty much every state. These stats are from The White House's "Raise The Wage" campaign, and you can view info specific to your state at their website.
In Pennsylvania, raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would help workers afford...
6 months of rent for a two-bedroom home
9 months of groceries
98 tanks of gas
4 years of electricity
(The extra $5,472 in annual income could also pay for 1,368 pumpkin spice lattes, but I digress.)
It's clear from these stats that an extra few dollars can go a long way. For info on when and where you can vote this Tuesday, check out MTV's handy-dandy Voter Defense Guide. See you at the polls!