July 28, 2009

Who got a raise?

Random animal picture featuring Arpad and Mini-me.

Earlier this week, I mentioned the increase in the federal minimum wage that took place last Friday. Here's a little information about who will benefit.

An analysis of national data shows that

*Around 10 percent of the workers (430.000 individuals) who will receive an increase are single parents with children under 18 years of age. 2.2 million children will benefit;

*More than three quarters of affected workers are adults aged 20 or over;

*About half of these (47 percent) work full time and another third (34 percent) work 20 to 34 hours a week;

*Most of those who benefit (63 percent) are women;

*Proportionally more members of minority groups will benefit from the increase. While African Americans make up 11 percent of the workforce, 18 percent will be affected by the raise. For Hispanics, the rates are 14 and 19 percent, respectively.

While the increase is good news for those who get it, the minimum wage (perhaps like the ole gray mare and some of us) ain't what it used to be. When adjusted for inflation, the 2009 minimum wage is 17 percent lower than in 1968. As a general trend, the purchasing power of the minimum wage was higher in the period between 1960and 1980 than it is in 2009.

There's more from the Economic Policy Institute about the issue here.

WHAT DO YOU WEAR AT AN "EXTINCTION EVENT?" Maybe whatever we have on now.

RACIAL PROFILING. Here's an op-ed by a friend of mine, the Rev. Matthew Watts, on some possible good things that could come out of the incident in which WV native and Harvard professor Skip Gates was arrested (aside from the beer at the White House thing).

HEALTH CARE. And here's an op-ed about health care from another friend, Marshall psychology professor Joseph Wyatt.

YOU'VE HEARD OF RENT TO OWN. Here's Dean Baker on "Own to Rent" as a step towards solving the foreclosure crisis. It makes way more sense.



No comments: