February 3, 2016
Proponents of a higher minimum wage are determined to make their case no matter how much evidence piles up against them. It’s like a lawyer who knows he’s been handed a bad case but the law says he must be … Continue reading
February 1, 2016
Policy Brief: The Impact of a $10.10 Minimum Wage in Kentucky Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo recently introduced legislation to raise the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour. Stumbo and other proponents argue that a minimum wage increase will, on net, be … Continue reading
What’s in a (Brand) Name? A Comparison Of Minimum Wage Effects on Franchise and Non-Franchise BusinessesJanuary 29, 2016
What’s in a (Brand) Name? A Comparison Of Minimum Wage Effects on Franchise and Non-Franchise Businesses One unique feature of recent local minimum wage battles is the focus on franchise businesses. In Seattle, for instance, a minimum wage of $15 took … 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.