It’s been almost 8 years since Congress last raised the national minimum wage. This step is overdue. We’ve waited long enough.

In nearly two years as Labor Secretary, I’ve sat down with so many low-wage workers for whom every day involves struggle and sacrifice. For them, just a few more dollars an hour would mean a little more breathing room and peace of mind. Like the worker in Connecticut who has to choose between buying a gallon of milk or a gallon of gas. Like the bag handler from New Jersey who told me he can’t afford even a small gift for his son’s 16th birthday.

Secretary Perez took part in a Minimum Wage press conference on Capitol Hill where he was joined by Gina Schaefer (left), Owner, Ace Hardware, and Rupa, (right), a licensed beautician who earns the minimum wage.

But it’s not just workers who say raising the wage is needed. Many of the people who sign their paychecks are on board, too. They know that it’s good for the bottom line. It means better customer service, less turnover and increased productivity. Raising the national minimum wage means a level playing field for those businesses already paying higher wages, more customers all around and a fair day’s pay for all workers.

via Let’s Raise The Wage Already : U.S. Department of Labor Blog.