Recent Updates

  • $15 Hits California Businesses Hard

    California is in the process of ratcheting up its minimum wage from $10 an hour to $15 by 2022, and the hikes are making it tough for small businesses to stay afloat. Just last week, the 25-year-old Roseville brick-and-mortar The Almost Perfect … Continue reading

  • 15 Errors in the Fight for $15: It’s Not Fiscally Responsible

    No summer is complete without a summer reading list, and SEIU boss David Rolf’s “Fight for $15” is at the top of ours. Alas, while the book has plenty of entertaining rhetorical flourishes, its commitment to factual accuracy on the … Continue reading

  • SEIU vs. Cleveland Grocery Stores

    With a revitalized downtown and a commitment to reducing pollution and crime, Cleveland will be hosting the Republican National Convention in July and plans to become a destination city. All of this could come crashing down, however, with the passage … 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. California and Massachusetts currently have the highest state minimum wages in the country at $10 per hour, and Emeryville, CA, currently has the highest city minimum wage at $14.44 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.