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President Obama praises Gap Inc.

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As Americans celebrated Labor Day on Monday, President Obama renewed his call for a minimum wage increase across the country, and praised Gap Inc. in doing so.

“…More and more Americans are doing their part to make it happen,” the president said to a crowd of about 6,000 gathered in Milwaukee, Wis. “You’ve seen business leaders at companies like The Gap that raised base wages for tens of thousands of workers because they knew it was good for business.”

About 21 million U.S. workers earn less than $10 an hour and 24 percent of those people work in retail.

In February, we announced a strategic investment in our employees. We increased our U.S. minimum hourly rate to $9 an hour in June, and will raise the rate to $10 in 2015, impacting 65,000 employees in the United States.

“Because of this job, I’m not only working in a field I love – fashion – but I’m also able to maintain my life and even take my kids on vacation when I can,” said Nneka Landry, a Banana Republic employee. “It’s been great, absolutely fabulous, and I do believe this is the company I will likely retire from.”

Shortly after the announcement, the president visited a Gap store in New York City to show his support for the company’s decision.

At the time, he said the increase would not only help thousands of workers, but would ultimately help the broader economy.