<\body> Stories in America: Facts About Minimum Wage Earners

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Facts About Minimum Wage Earners

I've written a few stories about the minimum wage issue and have interviewed a number of adults who make minimum wage. Many hold multiple jobs. It's easy to say, "get a better education and a higher paying job will follow." That's difficult to do when there aren't many opportunities in your area, you're raising children, and can barely make ends meet.

Here are a few facts:

13 million Americans make minimum wage. States and city wages vary. The federal wage, which is $5.15 an hour, hasn't changed in 10 years.

9 million women (not teenagers) earn minimum wage.

According to the California Budget Project, a nonpartisan organization seeking fiscal reforms, almost 60 percent of California’s low-wage workers are 25 or older.

The minimum wage increase will not cause price inflation. In Arizona, for example, the total cost of the wage increases is equal to 0.08 percent of total sales. The average business can fully cover the cost of the minimum wage by increasing revenue by less than 0.1 percent.

The minimum wage increase will not destroy job growth. Between 1997 and 2003, small business employment increased by 9.4 percent in higher minimum wage states, compared to 6.6 percent in states at the federal level.

At the 350 largest public companies, the average CEO total direct compensation was $11.6 million in 2005. At this rate of compensation, it takes the average CEO only one hour and 55 minutes to earn the annual pay of a minimum wage worker.


At 1/24/2007 6:29 PM, Anonymous D.A. said...

You forgot to mention these stats...

Only 2.8 percent of workers earning less than $5.15 are single parents. Only 1.2 percent of all minimum wage workers were adult heads of households with incomes less than $10,000. Fifty-seven percent of minimum wage workers are single individuals, many of them living with their parents.

Minimum wage workers are not parents struggling to feed their children. Rather, they are high school or college students living at home. The level of the minimum wage is irrelevant for most people in poverty. Only 9.2 percent of poor people of working age have full-time jobs.

Mothers on welfare in states that raised their minimum wage remained on welfare 44 percent longer than mothers on welfare in states where it was not raised.

Funny how Libs like using stats that ONLY support their cause.

At 1/25/2007 7:58 AM, Blogger JACK BOO said...

Nice post on the minimum wage on your blog d.a.. You're right, but as you know, this minimum wage stuff all about "feeling good" about yourself.

I think the proof of that is the fact that increasing the minimum wage hurts the poorest of the poor, illegal aliens...but that doesn't seem to bother anyone here.

Minimum wage laws are probably the most "anti-poor" legislation our politicians have come up with.

Of course, most of the people who read this blog will not lose their employment when wages are raised because they make more than the government-mandated minimum. Maybe that has something to do with it....

At 1/25/2007 9:19 AM, Anonymous Greedy Capitalist said...

Raising the federal minimum wage "will increase annual earnings to $15,000 from $10,700. Without this increase, a family of three supported by one minimum wage earner will live roughly $5,400 below the federal poverty line." (The Center for American Progress has put out a new report showing the economic costs of children in poverty.) Under the Bush administration, the lower- and middle-classes have seen the American dream slip further out of reach, whereas the rich have seen lavish tax breaks. Since 2000, "the fraction of American households with incomes between $25,000 and $100,000 a year has declined by 1.3 percentage points, whereas the number of households earning more than $100,000 a year has held steady." Approximately "7.7 million women (59 percent of minimum wage earners) and 5.2 million people of color (40 percent of minimum wage earners) will directly benefit" from a minimum wage increase. While the Bush administration and conservative senators continue to block progress, bipartisan groups of governors, lawmakers, and activists in the states have mobilized. In November, "voters in six states said minimum wage increases wouldn't hurt businesses and approved minimum wage hikes without extra corporate giveaways, as have 11 state legislatures." Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have a minimum wage surpassing the federal government's level. ACORN has a breakdown of the cities and counties that have enacted living wage laws.

At 1/25/2007 12:44 PM, Blogger JACK BOO said...

"According to the California Budget Project, a nonpartisan organization seeking fiscal reforms, almost 60 percent of California’s low-wage workers are 25 or older."

Looks like you forgot to mention some additional details concerning that 60%. (From William Buckley).....

We learn that 60 percent of minimum-wage earners — two-thirds of them women — are working in restaurants and bars; 73 percent, by the way, are white, and 70 percent have high-school diplomas. Nearly 60 percent work part time.

Now we can leech from these figures several observations:

(1) It can be very difficult to tell what a minimum wage worker is actually making. Many of those who work in restaurants and bars receive tips; then again, the minimum wage is substantially lower for people in that situation.

(2) A high-school diploma will not in and of itself give the worker merchandisable skills o'erleaping the minimum wage.

(3) Since there are part-time workers who receive only the minimum wage, a moment's reflection makes it obvious that they receive, by whatever means, income that makes life possible.

Another thing....

Funny how everybody has got to raise their minimum wage....except American Somoa. I guess Nancy Pelosi doesn't think it's such a good idea there. I wonder why. I mean after all, it's SUCH A GOOD THING FOR EVERYBODY.

Apparently not. Especially if Somoa has lots of people pulling tuna out of the sea for Star Kist which is owned by Del Monte....whose corporate headquarters just happen to be located in Nancy Pelosi's home district. Coincidence? Yeah...right.

At 1/25/2007 8:37 PM, Anonymous D.A. said...

Jack excellent posts here especially in regards to Pelosi...what cracks me up is all this talk about families ran on minimum wage and as the statistics show it, not many families live this way. To think, Americans get 13 years of FREE Education and what each and everyone chooses to do with it is up to the individual. These Liberals think that the Government should do more for these people AS IF 13 years of a FREE commodity is not enough?

Is it ok if I add your blog to my site Jack? If so, please email me, you can get this from my site under contact.

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