EPI Research (Page 9 )

  • Unequal Harm: Racial Disparities in the Employment Consequences of Minimum Wage Increases

    May 2011 ["4574","4573"]

    When the Great Recession’s negative effect on the U.S. labor market was strongest, the national unemployment rate stood at 10.1 percent—a depth last seen in June 1983. But the greatest amount of pain was felt by younger and more vulnerable workers—though not in equal amounts. For instance, the unemployment rate for 16-to-19 year-olds reached 27.1 per-cent at the recession’s trough. For white teens, the figure…
  • Just Getting By?: Income Dependence on Minimum Wage Jobs

    March 2011

    Increases in the minimum wage remain popular with legislators and the public in part due to misconceptions about who earns the minimum. The most popular and seemingly persuasive argument for minimum wage hikes is that adult minimum wage workers can’t afford to maintain their families at those wage levels. Census Bureau data confirm that approximately 40 percent of the beneficiaries of the most recent federal…
  • Is There an Economic Consensus in Favor of Wage Mandates?

    January 2011

    In debates over whether to raise the minimum wage, proponents often try to boost their credibility by referencing a group of 15 prominent economists who support a minimum wage increase, as well as approximately 650 additional economists in agreement. This list, first compiled and released by the Economic Policy Institute (a labor-backed organization), is still cited frequently to counter the claims of labor economists who…

  • Failed Stimulus: Minimum Wage Increases and Their Failure to Boost Gross Domestic Product

    December 2010 ["4568"]

    A comprehensive review of two decades of economic research on the minimum wage by economists David Neumark (University of California—Irvine) and William Wascher (Federal Reserve Board) concludes that increases in the minimum wage reduce job opportunities for the least-skilled workers. As a consequence of this inconvenient truth, advocates of a higher minimum wage have increasingly leaned on alternate arguments to make the case for additional…
  • The Erosion of the Entry-Level Job Market: Minimum Wage Increases and their Impact on Minimum Wage Workers

    August 2010

    Economic research has extensively documented that teen jobs are lost as an unintended consequence of a higher minimum wage. When labor costs increase due to a wage hike, employers who have to pay this new higher wage to train low-skilled, minimum wage workers find a way to do more with less. That might mean reductions in customer service or an increased reliance on automation.


  • The Teen Employment Crisis: The Effects of the 2007 – 2009 Federal Minimum Wage Increases on Teen Employment

    July 2010

    On May 24, 2007, Congress passed legislation to increase the federal minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi captured the general mood in Washington when she exclaimed that “millions of hardworking Americans will be getting a raise.” The public was also supportive, with polls showing broad approval of Congress’ efforts to raise the minimum wage.

    This enthusiasm was not universal.…