Who Will Really Benefit From Maine’s Minimum Wage Hike?
Publication Date: April 2004
Topics: Minimum Wage
Washington – As the Maine Legislature debates raising the state minimum wage to $7.00 per hour as a way to help the working poor, figures from the U.S. Census Bureau show that the bulk of the benefits will not reach Maine’s poor families.
An analysis of data compiled by the Bureau’s Current Population Survey shows that the average family income of Maine employees who would benefit from a minimum wage increase to $7.00 is $41,637.
Fully 98% of employees whose wages would be increased by this proposal either live with working parents or another relative, live alone, or have a working spouse. Less than 2% are sole earners in families with children, and each of these sole earners has access to supplemental income through the federal and state earned income tax credit (EITC). Most economists believe the EITC is a far better way to target resources at poor families than increasing the minimum wage.
Maine employees affected by proposed $7.00 minimum wage:
• 34% of minimum wage earners live with a parent or relative
• 25% of minimum wage earners are a dual earner in a married couple
• 40% of minimum wage earners are a single earner with no kids
• Less than 2% of minimum wage earners are single parents with kids or a single earner in a couple with kids, and each of these sole earners has access to supplemental income through the EITC.
Numbers don’t add to 100 due to rounding, the actual values are 98.4 and 1.6
To see figures for other states, visit www.minimumwage.com