National Awareness Campaign Combats Kennedy’s Misguided Approach on the Minimum Wage

Only 3.8% of benefits from a $7.25 hike would go to poor single mothers
  • Publication Date: June 2006

  • Topics: Minimum Wage

Washington – Across the nation this week, commuters will learn a startling fact during the morning traffic report: most minimum wage earners aren’t poor. In fact, the average family income of those who will benefit from Sen. Edward Kennedy’s (D-MA) proposal to raise the federal minimum wage is over $45,000 a year.

This radio public awareness campaign is sponsored by the Employment Policies Institute to expose the ineffectiveness of minimum wage hikes to help those truly in need.

While a minimum wage hike is often promoted as a policy designed to help low-income minorities and single mothers, the truth is much different: only 3.7 percent of the benefits would go to poor African-American families and only 3.8 percent of the benefits would go to poor single-mother households.

“Instead of pushing a politically motivated minimum wage increase, Kennedy could affect real change by promoting an expansion of the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit,” said Mike Flynn, EPI’s director of legislative affairs. “The EITC is indisputably one of the most powerful anti-poverty tools available because it specifically targets hard-working, low-income families without putting jobs in jeopardy.”