President Obama Praises Gap Apparel

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Apparel company Gap (GPS) on Wednesday received high praise from a powerful customer.

President Barack Obama released a statement applauding the San Francisco-based company for its decision to raise the minimum wage of all its U.S. employees to $10 an hour in 2015.

"Today, I applaud Gap, Inc. for announcing that they intend to raise wages for their employees beginning this year a decision that will benefit about 65,000 workers in the U.S.," Obama said in a statement. "In my State of the Union Address, I asked more businesses to do what they can to raise their employees' wages."

The White House early last year endorsed a minimum wage increase to $9 an hour, but increased its aspirations in 2014 to push for a $10.10 minimum. The move comes as the president and Democrats attempt to use the discussion as a wedge issue to help defeat Republicans in this year's midterm elections.

The Congressional Budget Office delivered a report on Tuesday that said the $10.10 minimum wage policy, on a central estimate, would cut about 500,000 jobs from U.S. employment. The report said the same scenario would boost the income of families living below the poverty line by $5.89 billion.

Shares of Gap closed down 0.09% to $42.19, before the president released the statement.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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