1.2 Million Reasons To Be Angry At Senate Republicans

04/30/2014 04:47 pm ET | Updated May 02, 2014

You may not need another reason to be angry that Senate Republicans just blocked a proposal to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour. We'll give you 1.2 million reasons anyway.

That’s the number of women in the U.S. who have children three years old or younger and are working at jobs that pay $10.10 an hour or less, according to a new study from the National Women's Law Center.

In other words, nearly one in five women in America with young children toil away at jobs that don't pay enough to support them. That's because, as you can see from the chart below, based on the Economic Policy Institute's Family Budget Calculator, even $10.10 an hour is not enough to support a single mother and one child, no matter where she lives -- whether in high-cost New York City or low-cost South Dakota:

costs

More than half of the 1.2 million women in this category don't have a second income on which to rely, the NWLC found. With the cost of child care and other services rising as wages stay flat, these women are forced to fork over a sizable portion of their already-small paychecks to day-care centers or put their children in unstable care situations, like with a relative or unlicensed caregiver, while they work.

Two-thirds of minimum-wage workers are women, which means that, as a group, they suffer disproportionately from a too-low minimum wage. The NWLC study reminds us that their young children are probably suffering, too.

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