Seven Minimum Wage Facts That Have Democrats Worried
Breitbart – Wynton Hall – 1/5/2014
1. Just 2.8% of American workers earn at or below the minimum wage.
The U.S. Department of Labor says 1.6 million people make the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. Another 2 million earn below that rate, such as restaurant servers who make tips in addition to a lower base hourly wage which, according to U.S. News and World Report, "in many cases actually puts them significantly above the minimum wage in reality, if not officially." That means in a nation of 317 million people, just 3.6 million (1.1%) make at or below the minimum wage. As a share of the U.S. workforce, just 2.8% of people working make minimum wage.
2. Half of all minimum wage workers are 16 to 24 years old.
According to the Department of Labor, "minimum wage workers tend to be young," and "about half of those paid the Federal minimum wage or less" are below age 25. Many of these are students working while in school or teenagers with part-time or summer jobs. That means half of the people most affected by a minimum wage hike are among those least likely to show up at the polls to vote, especially in a midterm election year. Indeed, minimum wage workers who are 16 and 17 years old are not even legally eligible to vote.
3. Labor workers already make well above the minimum wage.
. . . . manufacturing, construction, mining, retail, transportation, etc.—already earn well above the minimum wage. In fact, in November 2013, the government reported that the average hourly labor wage across all industries was $20.31—a figure nearly three times the federal minimum wage.
4. Even those who support minimum wage hikes concede it could kill jobs.
5. Minorities and the poor are hit hardest by the minimum wage.
Milton Friedman famously noted that "the most anti-black law on the books of this land is the minimum wage law." Higher wages mean employers seek higher, more skilled workers. That, said Friedman, puts those with disproportionately less education and experience at a significant disadvantage when looking to put their foot on the first rung of the employment ladder.
6. Even progressives concede the minimum wage is no panacea for America's economic woes.
Daily Beast writer Jamelle Bouie says while he supporters the move, "the minimum wage is a Band-Aid for wage stagnation and income inequality" and "doesn't make up for our sluggish economy and weak labor market."
7. 21 states already have minimum wages that are higher than the federal $7.25/hr rate.