The Minimum Wage : Should It Be Raised At $ 15?

2087 WordsMar 30, 20179 Pages
The Federal Minimum Wage: Should It Be Raised to $15 Everyone agrees that it is time to raise the U.S. Federal Minimum wage, but if we listen to the ‘Fight for 15’ movement and increase it to $15; will that much of an extreme increase hurt more people than it helps? The current U.S. Federal minimum wage is set at $7.25 per hour and was signed into law in 2009 by then President Barrack Obama. An increase to $15 per hour would be more than double the current rate and would have to be implemented in stages or it could have catastrophic consequences for our economy and lower wage workers. The minimum wage is the basis for the wage structure across the states. The population could see a decline in their living standards if the minimum wage…show more content…
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, the states with the highest percentage of minimum wage workers were geographically located in the South, while those with the lowest were in the West, which was mainly due to those states establishing higher state minimum wages than the Federal one. We need to know who the minimum wage worker is to understand how the Federal minimum wage affects them. In 2015 workers that make at or below the federal minimum wage comprised 3.3% of the 78.2 million workers in the United States that were paid hourly rates. This was a decline from 3.9% in 2014 and is well below the high of 13.4% in 1979 when data was first recorded. 20% of hourly paid workers are under the age of 25. The age group of 16-25 comprises approximately half of those that are paid minimum wage in the United States. Only 11% of employed teenagers (ages 16-19) that work for an hourly wage earn the federal minimum wage compared to about 2% of workers who are 25 and older that work for an hourly wage (Bureau of Labor). The service occupation industry and predominantly the food service industry comprised 67% of those that earn the federal minimum wage in 2015 in the U.S. Bureau of Labor 2015 report. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) compiled a comprehensive report in 2014 about the effects of a $9 and $10.10 increase to the federal minimum wage. The CBO reports that raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour could likely lead to the destruction of 500,000 jobs

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