How public policy supports low-wage workers and the high cost of the minimum wage

There’s no dearth of good analysis on the effects of raising the minimum wage. Let me call attention to a few of them here.

First, a look at the income supports available to low-wage workers, as shown in this graph from a short and incisive AEI blog post.

Wage and Benefits supports


AEI fellow Robert Doar concludes,

So the next time someone says, “You shouldn’t work full time and still be poor,” you can respond by saying in the United States, you almost certainly won’t be.

In The News Tribune a cautious op-ed says discretion is needed in the push for a higher minimum wage.

In the case of Seattle — using the same methodology as the recent CBO report on the federal minimum wage — a $15 minimum wage would likely reduce baseline employment in affected sectors by nearly 3 percent over three years. Impacted sectors include food service, nursing aides, groundskeepers, child-care workers, clerks, laundry workers, etc.

Increased labor costs would lead to as much as a 50 percent reduction in profitability, requiring surviving small businesses to hire not just fewer but also more mature and skilled workers. Not even mentioned in this debate is what might happen to high school dropout rates if the minimum wage shot up to the average wage for high school graduates.

A national staffing firm examines the consequences of increasing the federal minimum wage.

Finally, Danny Westneat writes about the high cost of Seattle’s progressive dreams.