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National Restaurant Association - NRA poll: Wage increase not the best way to reduce poverty

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NRA poll: Wage increase not the best way to reduce poverty

A federal minimum wage increase ranks a distant third, behind post-secondary education and job training opportunities, as a factor that stands to significantly reduce poverty in the United States, according to the results of a recent National Restaurant Association poll.

The poll, conducted in late January by ORC International on behalf of the NRA, asked 1,003 adults for their opinion on whether three factors—increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, ensuring that more young people finish high school and have an opportunity to acquire post-secondary education, and providing more opportunities for job training for the unemployed and under-employed—would have a significant, fairly significant, or somewhat of an impact on reducing poverty.

The poll found:

  • Three of four respondents said ensuring that more young people complete high school and have an opportunity to acquire some form of post-secondary education would have a very significant impact (49 percent) or fairly significant impact (20 percent) on reducing poverty in the United States.
  • Seven of 10 respondents said more opportunities for job training for people who are unemployed or underemployed would have a very significant (58 percent) or fairly significant impact (17 percent) on reducing U.S. poverty levels.
  • Slightly more than half of all adults felt increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would have a very significant impact (38 percent) or fairly significant impact (16 percent) on reducing poverty in the United States.

In addition, 18 percent of adults surveyed said increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour will have no impact at all on reducing poverty in the United States. Only 5 percent felt similarly about education or job training.

Tell Congress that increasing the federal minimum wage will reduce jobs, not poverty.

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