Brace yourself for a new wave of far right trickledown propaganda as President Obama is expected to call for a hike in the minimum wage in tonight’s SOTU speech. If you’re looking for some actual facts to counter the onslaught, John Schmitt has an excellent post at the Center for Economic Policy research blog, entitled “SOTU Minimum Wage FAQ.”
Who would benefit from an increase in the minimum wage?
According to estimates from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), almost 17 million workers who earn between the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 and the proposed new level of $10.10 (to be fully phased in by 2016) would see an increase in their wages. EPI estimates that another 11 million workers who earn just above the new federal minimum wage would likely get a pay increase as well.
Almost 90 percent of these workers are at least 20 years old; almost 70 percent are in families with incomes below $60,000 per year; over half work full time; and more than one-fourth have children. For complete demographic details, see this recent report by the Economic Policy Institute.
Note that the oft-cited official data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on the “Characteristics of Minimum Wage Workers: 2012” don’t tell the whole story because those data look only at hourly workers who earn exactly $7.25 per hour. Many workers who would otherwise be earning, say, $8.00 or $9.00 per hour, however, will also receive an increase under current proposals.
Read John’s entire post by clicking here.