Minimum Wage Workers Essay

2559 words - 11 pages

Who are these workers that makes minimum wage? According to the official Bureau of Labor Statistics 3.3 million are making at or below the federal minimum wage of $7.25. Among 3.3 are split into two main categories. The first category is those who are making the exact federal minimum wage which accounts for 1.5 million workers. The second category is those who are making below the federal minimum wage which accounts for 1.8 million workers. The second category includes tipped workers, full time students, and disabled workers. Majority of which are tipped workers and regardless of how much tips they received, they will at least make the federal minimum wage. About 50 percent of the minimum wage earners are under the age of 25; 20 percent of which are at teenagers between the ages of 16 to 19. Of the 3.3 million workers making at or below federal minimum wage, 1.5 million of whom are employed through the food and service related industry. The other 1.8 million are employed through industries such as sales, services, transportation, building, office and more. Those 3.3 million workers earning at or below minimum wage account for 4.3% of 75.9 million total hourly paid US workers. Those who make at or below federal minimum wage, in terms of education among the total hourly paid workers: 10 percent earned less than a high school diploma, 4 percent who earned a high school diploma, and 2 percent who are college graduates. In terms of ethnicity: 5 percent are Black, 4 percent are White and/or Hispanic, and 3 percent are Asian. Majority of those making federal minimum wage resides at Idaho and Tennessee (BLS 1).
A fairly common misconception is that workers, who make at or below federal minimum wage, correlate to those who would be affected by the minimum wage increase. Whether minimum wage increase is mostly positive or negative will be talked about in the next future paragraphs. The data on the previous paragraph was sourced from the official BLS, also known as Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many people when debating on the topic of minimum wage would use BLS as a source. The Economic Policy Institute, or EPI, found that many people assume the federal minimum wage is mostly made up of teenagers because of the data from BLS. Economic Policy Institute, or EPI, claims that the BLS data “do not provide an accurate picture of who would see a raise if minimum wage were to increase.” This is because of the exclusion of all those who earn more than the federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour, but below the proposed minimum of around $10.10. Nor does the BLS data includes those would potentially see a raise in accordance to the wage ladders, if minimum wage were to be increased. EPI research claims that if there was an increase in minimum wage, it would benefit 88 percent of workers who are at least 20 years old. 55 percent of who are full time workers, 44 percent who has at least some college experience, and with the average age of 35 years old (Cooper and Dan,...

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