Article image

Thinkstock

Wages to spend

For the first time since 2007, Washington is talking seriously about increasing the federal minimum wage. President Obama favors $10.10 an hour, and the Congressional Budget Office recently crunched the numbers. The results gave ammunition to the ayes and nays alike: such an increase would likely raise wages for 16.5 million Americans, but at the expense of 500,000 jobs.

Half a million lost jobs is no small thing. But change comes with costs, and here the benefits are far greater. Along with the 16.5 million workers that a $10.10 minimum wage would help directly, the CBO estimates that another 8 million would reap a spillover effect on wages. Overall, the change would improve the family incomes of more than 70 percent of low-wage workers and nudge 900,000 Americans above the poverty line. There’s little question that increasing the minimum wage would benefit low-income Americans.

 

This article is available to subscribers only. Please subscribe for full access—subscriptions begin at $2.95. Already have an online account? Log in now. Already a print subscriber? Create an online account for no additional cost.

This article is available to subscribers only.

To post a comment, log inregister, or use the Facebook comment box.