Minimum-Wage Workers Are 'Chronically Broke'

March 03, 2014

Courtesy of U.S. Department of Labor
Laura Fortman

A United States Department of Labor official has wrapped up a three-city tour of the West to get an update on the plight of minimum-wage workers.

Laura Fortman of the Wage and Hour Division outlines her impression of the working poor she interacted with in Phoenix, Las Vegas and Denver.

“There is that feeling of independence, and that’s the other thing that I think comes through is that people are hard workers and they want to work,” Fortman said.

She says the minimum wage employees she talked to repeatedly told her they’re having a tough time paying for the basics, because they are chronically broke.

The Obama administration has raised the minimum wage for federal contract employees to $10.10 an hour and is proposing an increase for all minimum wage employees.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell claimed in January raising the minimum wage would destroy jobs.