Q & A: Minimum Wage Employee Profile
From Welfare to Work. The Transition of an Illiterate Population
Welfare reform is now a reality. Yet the challenge of moving millions from welfare to work will be as difficult as the reforms are popular. Policy makers and entry-level employers must now grapple with the employment impediments which are keeping much of the welfare population out of the work force. And foremost among these problems is illiteracy. One-third of welfare recipients are functionally illiterate. They struggle[…]
Who Are The “Low Wage” Workers?
The desirability of raising the minimum wage has long revolved around just one question: the effect of higher minimum wages on the overall level of employment. This report adds an important new dimension to that debate by showing that an even more critical effect of the minimum wage rests on the composition of employment -- who gets the minimum wage job. Kevin Lang's paper focuses on[…]
The 1992 New Jersey Minimum Wage Increase: How Much Did it Affect Family Income?
The vast majority of economists agree that minimum wage hikes create a tradeoff: lost jobs for some, but increased benefits for others. Recent research has investigated the losers in this tradeoff by examining the composition of job loss. After an increase, minority teens, welfare mothers, and other low-skilled adults are displaced from the workforce by middle-class teenagers who are lured to jobs by the higher[…]
The Crippling Flaws in the New Jersey Fast Food Study
Economists have long believed that raising the minimum wage results in fewer entry-level employment opportunities and displaces the least skilled from the job market. In recent months, proponents of a higher minimum wage have returned to one study which they claim shows the opposite -- that higher minimum wages do not reduce, and may even increase, employment. The New Jersey fast food study, conducted by[…]
The Impact of the Federal Unemployment Insurance Tax Ceiling
As Drs. Daniel Hamermesh and David Scoones point out in their paper, the steady erosion in the share of wages subject to taxation to fund the unemployment insurance (UI) system as led to an increased burden on low-skilled, and therefore low wage, workers: today only 1/3 of all wages are taxed to fund the UI system. Although the unemployment insurance system is nominally structured to[…]