Recent Updates

  • Raising the Minimum Wage Will Hurt Women the Most

    In a recent report, the White House described an increase in the minimum wage as “especially important for women,” pointing out that just over half of the employees covered by the President’s $10.10 proposal are women. (Other minimum wage advocates … Continue reading

  • The President’s Misleading Minimum Wage Op-Ed

    The White House this week is distributing an op-ed signed by President Obama that promises “millions” of Americans will be raised out of poverty if the minimum wage is increased to $10.10. Unfortunately, the President’s rhetoric doesn’t match up with … Continue reading

  • Big Labor’s Bus Tour Gets a Reality Check

    It’s been a difficult couple of weeks for proponents of a higher minimum wage, as we’ve documented in earlier posts. Faced with a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate projecting as many as one million lost jobs from a $10.10 minimum wage, even … Continue reading

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About the Minimum Wage

The minimum wage is the minimum hourly wage an employer can pay an employee for work. Currently, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour (part of the Fair Labor Standards Act) and some states and cities have raised their minimum wage even higher than that. San Francisco, CA, has the highest minimum wage in the country at $10.55 an hour.

Employees that earn the minimum wage tend to be young, and work in businesses that keep a few cents of each sales dollar after expenses. When the minimum wage goes up, these employers are forced to either pass costs on to consumers in the form of higher prices, or cut costs elsewhere–leading to less full-service and more customer self-service. As a result, fewer hours and jobs are available for less-skilled and less-experienced employees.

Minimum wage increases do not help reduce poverty. Award winning research looked at states that raised their minimum wage between 2003 and 2007 and found no evidence to suggest these higher minimum wages reduced poverty rates. While the few employees who earn a wage increase might benefit from a wage hike, those that lose their job are noticeably worse off.

Employees who start at the minimum wage aren’t stuck there. Research found that the majority of employees who start at the minimum wage, move to a higher wage in their first year on the job.