Recent Updates

  • What Cuomo Gets Wrong about the Tipped Wage

    Governor Andrew Cuomo is eager to abolish New York’s tipped wage. So eager, in fact, that he’s willing to justify his agenda with false data analysis from the Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC). A new policy brief from the Employment Policies … Continue reading

  • The Tipped-Wage Beer in Texas

    Something odd is brewing in Texas. Oasis Texas Brewing Company will release a new pale ale named “$2.13” on January 26th to “bring awareness to the fact that these servers and bartenders in the service industry are making $2.13 an … Continue reading

  • New Year’s Wage Hikes Bring Big Consequences

    We’ve chronicled the consequences of a $15 minimum wage our website Faces of $15. Less than two weeks into 2018, the list of tragic stories keeps growing. With Ontario, Canada’s minimum wage rising to $14 an hour, franchisees of Canadian … Continue reading

Read More Updates

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. Washington and Massachusetts currently have the highest state minimum wages in the country at $11 per hour, and Emeryville, CA, currently has the highest city minimum wage at $15.20 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.