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.