How raising the federal minimum wage would help working families and give the economy a boost

Source: Doug Hall and David Cooper, Economic Policy Institute, Issue Brief #341, August 14, 2012

From the summary:
This paper begins by providing a demographic overview of the workers who would benefit from the proposed increase in the minimum wage, examining characteristics such as their gender, age, race and ethnicity, educational attainment, work hours, family income, and family composition. Next, it details the estimated GDP and job creation impacts that would result from an increase in the federal minimum wage to $9.80.

Key findings include:
– Increasing the federal minimum wage to $9.80 by July 1, 2014, would raise the wages of about 28 million workers, who would receive nearly $40 billion in additional wages over the phase-in period.2
– Across the phase-in period of the minimum-wage increase, GDP would increase by roughly $25 billion, resulting in the creation of approximately 100,000 net new jobs over that period.
– Those who would see wage increases do not fit some of the stereotypes of minimum-wage workers.
– Women would be disproportionately affected, comprising nearly 55 percent of those who would benefit.
– Nearly 88 percent of workers who would benefit are at least 20 years old.
– Although workers of all races and ethnicities would benefit from the increase, non-Hispanic white workers comprise the largest share (about 56 percent) of those who would be affected.
– About 42 percent of affected workers have at least some college education.
– Around 54 percent of affected workers work full time, over 70 percent are in families with incomes of less than $60,000, more than a quarter are parents, and over a third are married.
– The average affected worker earns about half of his or her family’s total income.

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