When asked about certain issues, 45 percent said the economy was the most important issue for them in the mid-term elections. Second was healthcare at 20 percent, 10 percent for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and 9 percent on the federal budget deficit.
On the minimum wage, NELP says it would be higher than $10 an hour if it had kept pace with the cost of living during the past 40 years. Fourteen states and the District of Columbia have raised their minimum wages above the federal level and 10 states automatically adjust their minimum wages each year to rise with the cost of living, according to NELP.
The Economic Policy Institute estimates that last year's 70-cent increase in the federal minimum wage generated $5.5 billion in new consumer spending.
“We need to be focusing on ways to boost consumer spending to bolster economic growth, and a strong minimum wage is a key part of that strategy,” said Owens.