Low-income workers are more likely to be represented by a Republican in Congress than a Democrat, according to a new study that shows debates around the minimum wage and income inequality are not localized concerns.
Nearly one in five U.S. workers earns $11.50 an hour or less, according to datareleased this week by Oxfam America which supports efforts to raise the minimum wage. Of those 24 million people, about 55% live in districts represented by Republicans.
Oxfam, an anti-poverty nonprofit group, said an employee earning less than $11.50 an hour would likely receive a raise if the federal pay floor was lifted to $10.10 an hour from a $7.25 rate. More conservative economists have said minimum-wage increases could limit the ability of those making slightly more than the wage floor to receive raises.
President Barack Obama supports an increase to the $10.10 level, but efforts to pass such a law fizzed in Congress this spring.
The Oxfam study calculated the number of low-income workers in each Congressional district.