Easily Sharable Minimum Wage Graphics

In a speech today outlining his economic agenda for the next two-and-a-half years, President Obama repeated his call for raising the minimum wage.

At the same time, today was a national day of action in support of a higher minimum wage. Americans throughout the country rallied to support legislation that would raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour and index it to inflation.

EPI has long supported raising the minimum wage, and it’s great to see the president, lawmakers and activists making the case for a minimum wage increase. Raising the minimum wage would boost the incomes of millions of Americans, provide a modest economic stimulus, and slow the growth of income inequality.

The inflation-adjusted value of the minimum wage is lower today than it was in 1968. If the value of the minimum wage had kept pace with average wages since then, it would be $10.50 today. If it had increased alongside productivity, it would be $18.75 today. And if it had increased at the same rate as the wages of the top 1.0 percent, it would be over $28 per hour.

In support of the national day of action, we made a series of graphics with facts about who would be affected by a minimum wage increase, and why it’s a good idea. They’re quick, to the point and easily shareable. The data points come from this paper. Check them out:

 


  • wikisaur

    I believe some of your numbers are inaccurate. You suppose an even distribution of children across the age groups, wage groups, and races. This is not so. Adjusting for these disparities would raise the percent of children below poverty level significantly.

  • ddrew2u

    If Obama gets his (not very fervent) wish to raise the federal minimum wage by $2 an hour over two years that should shift an incredibly small (almost unbelievably small) _ONE-QUARTER_ OF ONE PERCENT per year of overall income in this country from the top 80 percentile to the bottom 20% …

    … as per capita income grows TWO PERCENT, P-E-R Y-E-A-R*. Talk about-trickling the down the trickle-down.
    *http://money.cnn.com/2013/08/29/news/economy/gdp-report/

    Which is about what California’s raise from $8 an hour to $10 an hour spread over two years will also achieve. (California income numbers only 5% higher than national averages so the comparison should hold.)

    http://www.cpec.ca.gov/FiscalData/50StateEconGraph.asp?Type=Income
    ********************
    ABYSMAL ASSUMPTIONS:

    $9 an hour is about the 15 percentile wage. 5% of work force at minimum wage. So 20% of national workforce gets a raise to $9 an hour.

    To do our average (half) raise math we will add 5% — to account for the 5% at the minimum wage who get a full raise.

    25% of the national workforce = 35 million people. Average pay raise (half the dollar per year raise) 50 cents an hour. Assume a 2000 hour work year. 35 million X average $1,000 raise = $35 billion out of a $15.8 trillion dollar economy = .0022151 = about one-quarter of one-percent price rise — or shift of income from top to bottom per year.

    Nearby wages should not be pushed up too much. In societies with high minimum wages (e.g., the US in 1968) even the median wage is not that much higher.

  • ddrew2u

    Caveats:

    14.8% of US workers would be affected by a minimum wage raise to WHAT level?

    A $15 an hour minimum wage would give something like 45% of workers a raise — at the cost of 3.6% inflation or — shift of income from the top 55% of earners who get 90% of overall income to the bottom 45% who get 10%.

    I don’t think the 90% are going to tell the 10% that their services are no longer needed — they can all (45% of them!) go home. :-)

    [$15 an hour is about the 45 percentile wage. 45% of 140 million
    workforce is 63 million. Since the bottom 5% AT minimum wage will receive a full raise we can say 70 million will receive an average half raise of $8000 a year — that’s $560 billion out of 15.8 trillion GDP = 3.6% inflation or shift of income.]
    **************

    My minimum wage worksheet — the easily could-have-been minimum wage dbl indexed for inflation and per capita income growth:
    yr..per capita…real…nominal…dbl-indexed…..%-of

    68…15,473….10.74..(1.60)……10.74……..100%
    69-70-71-72-73
    74…18,284…..9.43…(2.00)……12.61
    75…18,313…..9.08…(2.10)……12.61
    76…18,945…..9.40…(2.30)……13.04……….72%
    77
    78…20,422…..9.45…(2.65)……14.11
    79…20,696…..9.29…(2.90)……14.32
    80…20,236…..8.75…(3.10)……14.00
    81…20,112…..8.57…(3.35)……13.89……….62%
    82-83-84-85-86-87-88-89
    90…24,000…..6.76…(3.80)……16.56
    91…23,540…..7.26…(4.25)……16.24……….44%
    92-93-94-95
    96…25,887…..7.04…(4.75)……17.85
    97…26,884…..7.46…(5.15)……19.02……….39%
    98-99-00-01-02-03-04-05-06
    07…29,075…..6.56…(5.85)……20.09
    08…28,166…..7.07…(6.55)……19.45
    09…27,819…..7.86…(7.25)……19.42……….40%
    10-11-12
    13…29,209…..7.25…(7.25)……20.20?……..36%?