WAGES

Higher minimum wage would bring mixed bag

A new report on raising the federal minimum wage buttresses longtime calls by federal employee unions—and the labor movement generally—for higher wages, but the report also shows that raising pay could cause many to lose their jobs.

The report was issued by the Congressional Budget Office on July 8.

“The federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour has not changed since 2009, though many states and localities have set their minimum wage above that level,” the CBO states in a summary of the report. “Increasing the federal minimum wage would have two principal effects on low-wage workers.”

“For most low-wage workers, earnings and family income would increase, which would lift some families out of poverty,” CBO said. “But other low-wage workers would become jobless, and their family income would fall—in some cases, below the poverty threshold.”

For details, go to the report at: https://www.cbo.gov/publication/55410.

Reader comments

Wed, Sep 18, 2019 Puregoldj Bethesda, MD

Economics 101 is that if a significant percentage of the population is working full time, but at wages below the living wage, then these people need federal or state assistance, don't pay net taxes, and can't be real participants in the economy. No minimum wage or a minimum wage below the cost of living is in effect government subsidizing companies to pay their employees low wages. With a living wage minimum wage, more people have disposable income so they can participate more fully in the economy -- thus creating additional demand; fewer people need government assistance, and more people are paying net taxes, thus benefiting the government fiscal balance. A free market economy works best when a maximum percentage of the population has disposable income. Not having a minimum wage or having a ridiculously low minimum wage only ensures that more people than necessary do NOT have disposable income.

Fri, Sep 13, 2019

How about we just freeze wage increases for lawyers, accountants, and bankers for the next 10 years and at least raise the minimum wage to keep a step ahead of inflation.

Fri, Sep 13, 2019

All minimum wage does is drive up the cost of all other items. People living on a fixed wage or those with jobs who receive little to no pay raises (i.e. retirees, welfare, and federal workers) will only get further behind. Those who receive a "quick" boost in pay will see that boost quickly erode due to prices increasing on everything. It's called Economics 101; not even micro or macro economics.

Thu, Sep 12, 2019 Sam USA

It is ludicrous to believe that any employer is going to lay off employees it they have to pay them a minimum of $10 per hour instead of the current $7.25 per hour. That assumption is like saying employers are currently employing people who they really do not need to get the jobs done. In reality NO employer employs more people than they actually need to get the work done.

Tue, Jul 23, 2019 Ad Ohio

Minimum wage is minimum wage and NOT a living wage. It is to ensure a minimum an employer must pay PERIOD. Ir was never meant to support families. The employee must decide if it is enough anns whether they want to improve their situation through job skill training, education, and experience to move to orthey jobs with higher pay and/or benefits. Although some people (too many who obviously do not know basic facts about the economy) scream about big corporations, it is the small business that holds up the majority. A significantly higher increase (le the insane $15 option bandied about) would just about obliterate then causing a large loss of jobs which could not be replaced (no it would not even out or resolve itself over time). A smaller increase is more easy to introduce and no one would (or should) disagree with that. However, the minimum wage has a ripple effect that when everything "evens out" causes everything to go up in price resulting in minimum wage workers who refuse to more up and on to wind up in the same situation as before as costs of everything are higher to cover the increase. STOP thinking thst large corporations are behind everything.

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