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Obama Will Ask Congress To Increase Minimum Wage For Private-Sector Workers

(President Obama, in the Oval Office, works on his 2014 State of the Union address.  Credit: Mandel Ngan/ AFP/ Getty Images)

(President Obama, in the Oval Office, works on his 2014 State of the Union address. Credit: Mandel Ngan/ AFP/ Getty Images)

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By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — President Obama tonight is expected to lay out a populist economic agenda in his State of the Union address.

In an interview today with KYW Newsradio, US labor secretary Tom Perez says the president will call for job creation, immigration reform, and a higher minimum wage, “to insure that we have a healthy middle class, that we are making progress and making sure that we reward hard work with fair wages, that we provide people with access to skills and opportunities.”

Perez says President Obama hopes to work with Congress but will take executive action if that’s not possible.

“He’s already done so today, announcing his intention to issue an executive order which will require that federal contractors will pay the minimum wage of $10.10,” Perez says, adding that he hopes Congress will raise the minimum wage for all workers.

“What grows this economy as fast as anything is when people have money in their pockets, and too many people are working hard and falling further behind,” according to the labor secretary.

You can see and hear President Obama’s State of Union address tonight at 9pm on CBS-3 and KYW Newsradio 1060.

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