Kennedy’s Minimum Wage Hike Targets Families with Average Income of Over $45,000 a Year

Majority of benefits from minimum wage hike won’t go to needy families, says Employment Policies Institute
  • Publication Date: June 2006

  • Topics: Minimum Wage

Washington, DC – Senator Kennedy (D-MA) announced today on the Senate floor his plan to raise the federal minimum wage to $7.25 an hour. The average family income of those who would benefit from the increase is $45,580 a year, according to research from the Employment Policies Institute [EPI].

U.S. Census Bureau data reveals that 85% of employees whose wages would be increased by the proposed minimum wage hike either live with their parents or another relative, live alone, or have a working spouse. Just 15% are sole earners in families with children, and each of these sole earners has access to supplemental income through the Earned Income Tax Credit.

“Census data shows us that the vast majority of the benefits from a minimum wage hike go to families that aren’t in need,” said Mike Flynn, EPI’s director of legislative affairs. “Instead of pushing for a minimum wage increase, an acknowledged job-killer, Kennedy could affect real change by promoting expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit, which is far and away a more effective tool for reaching hard-working families in need of assistance.”

For a state-by-state breakdown of who will benefit from a $7.25 minimum wage increase go to