Saturday, May 21, 2005

What Upward Mobility?

(Excerpt from mojoblog)

Heather Boushey of the Center on Economic and Policy Research has a new report (pdf) out on minimum wage workers that has a few important findings. First, contrary to the claims of many conservatives, minimum wage jobs simply aren't the confine of young workers looking to get a start on their careers. Less than one-in-five minimum wage workers was under the age of 20 in the early 2000s, and many of these workers are supporting families with their earnings. And the earnings are bleak: working full-time for a full year at the minimum wage earns you just $10,300, which is $3,000 under the poverty line for a one-parent, one-child family. Clearly, boosting the minimum wage will help these families out, and as economists like David Card and Alan Krueger have pointed out, this can be done in ways that don't severely impact the employment rate. (See here for more on why minimum-wage boosts won't lead to employment Armageddon.)

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