Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Dark Matter of Minimum Wage earners

From the continually brilliant Steve Conover:
I went to the US Census Bureau's Statistical Abstract to check the numbers. I found table 634, "Workers Paid Hourly Rates" (see the last table on the list at this page), and could only find 479,000 workers who made the minimum wage in 2005. That's 12,500,000 fewer workers than the lefties' are saying will benefit from the minimum wage hike. (Note that 1.4 million workers were making less than minimum wage; because many jobs are exempted from the minimum, I'm presuming those workers would continue to be unaffected by a minimum wage increase.)
I never made the minimum wage. I was paid less than the minimum wage from ages 14-18, working landscaping, snow shoveling, babysitting, and dishwashing. When I started working for a gift importer after high school, I made almost 20% over minimum wage (but not really, because I often worked more than 8 hours a day, but only got paid for 8 hours per day).

All these jobs helped me make more than minimum wage for more than 2 decades now. I suspect most people who make minimum wage or less, do so for less than 20% of their time in the workforce.

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