Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 11:46 pm
Justin...here is a site that has some statistics about the minimum wage earner:
AND THIS MIGHT GIVE YOU SOME TALKING POINTS WITH YOUR ON THE JOB MORON:
Minimum wage increases benefit working families.
The earnings of minimum wage workers are crucial to their families' well-being. Evidence from an analysis of the 1996-97 minimum wage increase shows that the average minimum wage worker brings home more than half (54%) of his or her family's weekly earnings.
An estimated 1,395,000 single parents with children under 18 would benefit from a minimum wage increase to $7.25 by 2008. Single parents would benefit disproportionately from an increase — single parents are 9% of workers affected by an increase, but they make up only 7% of the overall workforce. Approximately 3.9 million parents with children under 18 would benefit.
Adults make up the largest share of workers who would benefit from a minimum wage increase: 80% of workers whose wages would be raised by a minimum wage increase to $7.25 by 2008 are adults (age 20 or older).
Over half (54%) of workers who would benefit from a minimum wage increase work full time and another third (30%) work between 20 and 34 hours per week.
Minimum wage increases benefit disadvantaged workers.
Women are the largest group of beneficiaries from a minimum wage increase: 59% of workers who would benefit from an increase to $7.25 by 2008 are women. An estimated 14% of working women would benefit directly from that increase in the minimum wage.
A disproportionate share of minorities would benefit from a minimum wage increase. African Americans represent 11% of the total workforce, but are 16% of workers affected by an increase. Similarly, 14% of the total workforce is Hispanic, but Hispanics are 19% of workers affected by an increase.
The benefits of the increase disproportionately help those working households at the bottom of the income scale. Although households in the bottom 20% received only 5% of national income, 38% of the benefits of a minimum wage increase to $7.25 would go to these workers. The majority of the benefits of an increase would go to families with working adults in the bottom 40% of the income distribution.
Among families with children and a low-wage worker affected by a minimum wage increase to $7.25, the affected worker contributes, on average, over half (59%) of the family's earnings. Forty-six percent of such workers actually contribute 100% of their family's earnings.
Relatively large shares of the workforce (up to 19.1%) in some Southern and Mid-Western states would benefit from an increase to $7.25.
A minimum wage increase would help reverse the trend of declining real wages for low-wage workers.
Since September 1997, the purchasing power of the minimum wage has deteriorated by 20%. After adjusting for inflation, the value of the minimum wage is at its lowest level since 1955.
Wage inequality has been increasing, in part, because of the declining real value of the minimum wage. Today, the minimum wage is 31% of the average hourly wage of American workers, the lowest level since the end of World War II.
A minimum wage increase is part of a broad strategy to end poverty.
As welfare reform forces more poor families to rely on their earnings from low-paying jobs, a minimum wage increase is likely to have a greater impact on reducing poverty.
A recent study of a 1999 state minimum wage increase in Oregon found that as many as one-half of the welfare recipients entering the workforce in 1998 were likely to have received a raise due to the increase. After the increase, the real hourly starting wages for former welfare recipients rose to $7.23.
The federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) combined with the minimum wage helps to reduce poverty, but the EITC is not a replacement for a minimum wage increase. For example, in 1997, a single mother of two children working 40 hours per week year-round at the minimum wage would have earned $9,893 (after Social Security and Medicare taxes) and would have been eligible for the maximum EITC of $3,656, which would have put her family income at $13,549, a mere 5% above the 1997 poverty threshold of $12,931 for a family of three. But because the minimum wage has not kept up with increases in the cost of living since 1997, the same family is now below the poverty line. In 2005, a single mother with two children would have combined earnings and EITC of $14,177, or 11% below the 2005 poverty threshold of $15,735 for a family of three.
The minimum wage raises the wages of low-income workers in general, not just those below the official poverty line. Many families move in and out of poverty, and near-poor families are also beneficiaries of minimum wage increases.
The inflation-adjusted value of the minimum wage is 30% lower in 2006 than it was in 1979.
The effect of the last minimum wage increase in 1996-97 has been completely eroded by inflation.
$5.15 today is the equivalent of only $3.95 in 1995 — lower than the $4.25 minimum wage level before the 1996-97 increase.
There is no evidence of job loss from the last minimum wage increase.
A 1998 EPI study failed to find any systematic, significant job loss associated with the 1996-97 minimum wage increase. In fact, following the most recent increase in the minimum wage in 1996-97, the low-wage labor market performed better than it had in decades (e.g., lower unemployment rates, increased average hourly wages, increased family income, decreased poverty rates).
Studies of the 1990-91 federal minimum wage increase, as well as studies by David Card and Alan Krueger of several state minimum wage increases, also found no measurable negative impact on employment.
New economic models that look specifically at low-wage labor markets help explain why there is little evidence of job loss associated with minimum wage increases. These models recognize that employers may be able to absorb some of the costs of a wage increase through higher productivity, lower recruiting and training costs, decreased absenteeism, and increased worker morale.
A recent Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI) study of state minimum wages found no evidence of negative employment effects on small businesses.
Appelbaum, Eileen, et al. 2004. The Minimum Wage and Working Women.
Bernstein, Jared, and Chauna Brocht. 2000. The Next Step: The New Minimum Wage Proposals and the Old Opposition. Washington, D.C.: Economic Policy Institute.
Bernstein, Jared, and John Schmitt. 1998 Making Work Pay: The Impact of the 1996-97 Minimum Wage Increase. Washington, D.C.: Economic Policy Institute.
Bernstein, Jared, and Isaac Shapiro. 2006. Buying Power of Minimum Wage at 51-Year Low. Washington, D.C.: Economic Policy Institute.
Bernstein, Jared, Heidi Hartmann, and John Schmitt. 1999. The Minimum Wage Increase: A Working Woman's Issue. Washington, D.C.: Economic Policy Institute.
Card, David. 1992. Using regional variation in wages to measure the effects of the federal minimum wage. Industrial and Labor Relations Review. Vol. 46, No. 1, pp. 22-37.
Card, David, and Alan B. Krueger. 1994. Minimum wages and employment: a case study of the fast-food industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. American Economic Review. Vol. 84. No. 4. pp. 772-93.
Card, David, and Alan B. Krueger. 1995. Myth and Measurement: The New Economics of the Minimum Wage. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Card, David, and Alan B. Krueger. 2000. Minimum wages and employment: a case study of the fast-food industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania: reply. American Economic Review. Vol. 90, No. 5, pp. 1397-1420.
Chasanov, Amy. 2004. No Longer Getting By: An Increase in the Minimum Wage Is Long Overdue. Washington, D.C.: Economic Policy Institute.
EPI. 2000, 2005. Datazone.
Fiscal Policy Institute. 2004. State Mminimum Wages and Employment in Small Business. Available at www.fiscalpolicy.org.
Fortin and Lemiuex. 1996. As cited in Mishel, Lawrence, Jared Bernstein, and John Schmitt. The State of Working America 1998-99. Washington, D.C.: Economic Policy Institute.
Rasell , Edith, Jared Bernstein, and Heather Boushey. 2000. Step Up, Not Out: The Case for Raising the Federal Minimum Wage for Workers in Every State. Washington, D.C.: Economic Policy Institute.
Sawhill , Isabel, and Adam Thomas. 2001. "A Hand Up for the Bottom Third." Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution.
Thompson, Jeff. 1999. Oregon's Increasing Minimum Wage Brings Raises to Former Welfare Recipients and Other Low-Wage Workers Without Job Losses. Oregon Center for Public Policy.
Download the entire Issue Guide in PDF format
Link: http://www.epinet.org/content.cfm/issue ... nwagefacts
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That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
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