preview

The Pros and Cons of Minimum Wage

Good Essays
Increasing the minimum wage may help hard working families make ends meat. The first federal minimum wage in 1938. Started at $.25 an hour. In 1968 it reached its peak value. Since then the value has fallen thirty percent, so that today’s minimum wage of $5.15 is equal to $4.18 which is equivalent to the value in 1995 (women, 4). Some states have decided to raise the minimum wage above $5.15 an hour even though the senate ultimately sets the minimum wage. There was a push to raise the minimum wage two dollars in the next two years. The average yearly income for a person who works minimum wage is around $19,000. In the United States there are over 1.6 million minimum wage workers. Fifty-three percent of minimum wage workers are high school, or college students, seventeen percent are the retired, and thirty percent being unskilled workers. Because the minimum wage is not enough for most people to live on, in 1994 local union leaders and activists have helped to pass more than 100 living wage ordinances. A living wage is designed to help low wage workers and their families to live above the poverty level
They have decided on minimum wage on different things but they are looking to increase it since minimum wage workers that make up a family of three are making $5000 below the poverty line.
There are some positive aspects to raising the minimum wage. Bernstein and Schmitt from the Economic Institute in Washington, D.C. studied the effects of raising the minimum wage in 1996-1997 from $4.25 to $5.15 found the following:
1.Nearly ten million workers or 8.9% of all people with jobs benefited from the full increase to $5.15.
2. Most of these workers were adults (71%) and females (58%).
3. Close to half (46%) up to beneficiaries work full time and another third work twenty to thirty-four hours per week.
4. The average minimum wage worker brought home more than half (54%) of his or her family’s weekly earnings.
5. The increase primarily benefits the working poor-- 35% goes to the poorest working households and 58% goes to the lower 40% of working households. (New Orleans, page 16)
This concludes that there were financial benefits for all of those people who got the minimum wage increase. The report issued by New Orleans looked at three separate family situations to measure the benefits of the minimum wage raise, the first is a family with one working adult and one ...

... middle of paper ...

...on is trying to get an education and work enough to support their family they are going to struggle on one or the other. For the unskilled worker not trying to advance in their life as well as the person trying to advance is going to have problems with being scheduled in. The are the students and retired people that want to work as well as the unskilled and they might not be able to get as much time as they want working, and this creates a problem because they need to get another job to support their family.
Even though raising the minimum wage sounds like an incredibly good idea there are so many twists and turns that make it seem not all that worth while. With the drawbacks of people getting fired and people not being able to get as many jobs in the area it could make things quite difficult. Raising minimum wage would benefit the few who would still have jobs if they were lucky and were not laid off so companies could pay their employees the higher minimum wage pay. Although today’s minimum wage isn’t enough to make a low wage workers life great, it seems to be that is going to have to be like that for some time until a better solution is found to solve the minimum wage crisis.
Get Access