A lot has happened in America this year. But economics columnists might well dub this “the Year of the Minimum Wage.” The year started off with a hike to $15 an hour in the area around Sea-Tac Airport; by June, Seattle’s City Council had followed suit, passing a similar increase that phases in gradually. Chicago is raising its minimum to $13 an hour. Los Angeles has been considering going to $13.50, though so far, it has only raised the minimum wage for hotel workers (hotel owners sued). Various other state and local legislatures have either enacted, or are considering, hikes.
So it’s not surprising that we’ve spent a lot of time talking about the minimum wage this year. What’s surprising is how we’ve been talking about it: confidently, as if we know for sure what will happen when these laws take effect. Mark Bittman, my favorite food writer, has boldly opined that “the credibility of those who argue that employers ‘can’t afford’ to raise pay … is nil.” Liberal journalists crudely eyeball statistics and proclaim that the idea that minimum wages can kill jobs have been “debunked”; conservative pundits equally claim to have debunked the debunkings.
Alas, if only economic analysis were so easy. In fact, it’s very hard to study what happens when we raise the minimum wage.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Everything We Don’t Know About Minimum-Wage Hikes – Bloomberg View.
The table below reflects state minimum wages in effect for 2014, as well as future increases. Summary Minimum wages will go up in nine states on Jan. 1, 2015 because of indexed increases in their state law: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, and Washington. 38 states introduced minimum wage bills during the … Continue reading
About 20.6 million people — 30% of all hourly, non-self-employed workers 18 and older — are what we call “near-minimum-wage workers,” meaning they earn more than the current minimum wage (either the federal $7.25-an-hour minimum or a higher state minimum) but less than the $10.10 hourly rate that emerged over the past year as a … Continue reading
This issue brief examines the use of public assistance programs by low-wage workers and assesses how raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 over three years—as proposed by the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2014, a bill introduced by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.)—could affect utilization rates, benefit amounts, and government … Continue reading
– 55 percent of employers think a fair minimum wage is at least $10 per hour or more; 1 in 10 don’t think a minimum wage should be set – 53 percent of employers say a higher wage would increase consumer spending – All major industries surveyed support a minimum wage hike, including retail and … Continue reading
As the debate continues in Congress and in states, here are … numbers to help you understand what it means to be making the federal minimum wage, and why it’s long past time for an increase: 62 The number of months since the last minimum wage increase, in July 2009. 12 The number of months … Continue reading
Minimum Wages for Tipped Workers – Smaller wage gaps for women overall and lower poverty rates when equal
The federal minimum cash wage for tipped workers has been frozen at $2.13 per hour for 23 years, and now represents less than a third of the federal minimum wage ($7.25 per hour)—its lowest share on record. The inadequate tipped minimum wage is particularly detrimental to women, who represent two-thirds of tipped workers nationally. Increasing … Continue reading
Minimum Wages in US – Jobs grew faster in the 13 states that boosted their minimums at the beginning of the year
In the 13 states that boosted their minimums at the beginning of the year, the number of jobs grew an average of 0.85 percent from January through June. The average for the other 37 states was 0.61 percent. Nine of the 13 states increased their minimum wages automatically in line with inflation: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, … Continue reading