June 25, 2015
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s fast-food wage board concluded its fourth and final public hearing this week, and will now retreat to decide on a new wage mandate for the industry. Numerous speakers at the four hearings emphasized the executive … Continue reading
June 23, 2015
EPI placed a full-page ad in the New York Post highlighting how a $15 minimum wage for the fast-food industry would lead restaurants to substitute touch-screen ordering systems for employees. The ad coincides with the fourth and final public hearing in front … Continue reading
May 21, 2015
EPI placed a full-page ad in the Kansas City Edition of USA Today warning residents about the potential ramifications of raising the city’s minimum wage by 96% to $15 an hour. The ad implies that a $15 minimum wage would … Continue reading
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.