Thursday, January 11, 2007

Minimum Wage Hike: Good for Gen Debt?

The House passed a raise in the federal minimum wage to $7.25 an hour over 5 years. On balance, I think this is great news for Gen Debt since 53% of minimum wage workers are under 25 , and according to EPI, the average minimum wage worker brings home over half of her family's earnings. The Washington Post did a great story following a 22-year-old who supports his whole family on his job at the dollar store.

On the other hand, the hike may make small business owners more leery of hiring the young and inexperienced. Robert Reich argues in The American Prospect this week that a hike will attract more people (like retirees and homemakers) to part-time low-wage jobs, giving business owners more workers to choose from; young people might lose out because of the perception that their commitment to the workplace or their responsibility is not as good.

But in the end the important thing to realize, as Reich points out, is that this is not a hike. it's an inflation adjustment.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Anya !
Congrats on all your achivements. Your observations are mature and very insightful. I watched you on a documentary on Detroit Public TV and you have really inspired me to write a book on simillar issues but specifically to immigrants who take their chances to come to the USA to study and find that great job that will allow them to move beyond their economic class that they were previously relegated to in their own country. My email is if you have any advice for me. Thanks Anya !