More than half of workers earn less than $9 an hour, and many workers are struggling to make ends meet, according to a report released Tuesday by the Economic Policy Institute.
The report comes as the Obama administration has been weighing the effects of the minimum wage hike on businesses, particularly small businesses.
Some businesses are struggling due to the higher cost of living and fewer workers, while others are struggling because the minimum-wage increase has hit their bottom lines hard.
The minimum wage is the federal minimum wage for workers who are at least 25 years old.
The federal minimum hourly wage is $7.25.
For workers who earn the federal hourly minimum wage of $7, federal minimum-hour laws also apply to state minimum wage laws, which vary widely from state to state.
The law also applies to employers who pay the federal income tax.
The EPI report comes amid the escalating wage battle between the White House and Democrats in Congress over the minimum rate, which is set to rise from $7 an hour to $9 on Jan. 1.
The White House argues that the minimum wages increase will bring more businesses and workers together to grow, helping lift wages for low-wage workers.