January 30, 2014
Facts About the Minimum Wage
Reduced Opportunities to Gain Experience
Primarily Affects Younger Workers Without Family Responsibilities
Adds to Obamacare Burden
Richard V. Burkhauser and Joseph J. Sabia, “Minimum Wages and Poverty: Will a $9.50 Federal Minimum Wage Really Help the Working Poor?” Southern Economic Journal, Vol. 77, No. 3 (January 2010); Richard Vedder and Lowell Gallaway, “Does the Minimum Wage Reduce Poverty?” Employment Policies Institute, June 2001; Jill Jenkins, “Minimum Wages: The Poor Are Not Winners,” Employment Policy Foundation, January 12, 2000; Ronald B. Mincy, “Raising the Minimum Wage: Effects on Family Poverty,” Monthly Labor Review Vol. 113, No. 7 (July 1990); Richard Burkhauser, and Joseph J. Sabia, “The Effectiveness of Minimum Wage Increases in Reducing Poverty: Past, Present, and Future,” Contemporary Economic Policy Vol. 25, No. 2 (2007), pp. 262–281; Craig Gundersen, and James Patrick Ziliak, “Poverty and Macroeconomic Performance Across Space, Race, and Family Structure,” Demography Vol. 41, No. 1 (2004), pp. 61–86; David Neumark, and William Wascher. “Do Minimum Wages Fight Poverty?” Economic Inquiry Vol. 40, No. 3 (2002) pp. 315–333.
 William Carrington and Bruce Fallick, “Do Some Workers Have Minimum Wage Careers,” Monthly Labor Review, May 2001, pp. 17–27, Table 2.
James Sherk, “Minimum Wage Workers’ Incomes Rise When the Minimum Wage Does Not,” Heritage Foundation WebMemo No. 1181, July 28, 2006, http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2006/07/minimum-wage-workers-incomes-rise-when-the-minimum-wage-does-not.
James Sherk and John Ligon, “Unprecedented Minimum-Wage Hike Would Hurt Jobs and the Economy,” Heritage Foundation Issue Brief No. 4102, December 5, 2013, http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/12/unprecedented-minimum-wage-hike-would-hurt-jobs-and-the-economy.
David Neumark and William Wascher, Minimum Wages (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2008).
Sherk and Ligon, “Unprecedented Minimum-Wage Hike Would Hurt Jobs and the Economy.”
Laura Giuliano, “Minimum Wage Effects on Employment, Substitution, and the Teenage Labor Supply: Evidence from Personnel Data,” The Journal of Labor Economics, Vol. 31, No. 1 (January 2013), pp. 155-194.
David Neumark and William Wascher. “The Effects of Minimum Wages on Teenage Employment and Enrollment: Evidence from Matched CPS Surveys,” in Solomon Polchek, ed. Research in Labor Economics, Vol. 15 (Greenwich, Conn.: JAI Press, 1996).
Heritage Foundation analysis of data from the Current Population Survey (CPS). The Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics jointly conduct the CPS. All numbers, except average family income and poverty status, come from analysis of the 2011 and 2012 Merged Outgoing Rotation Group (MORG) file of the CPS. Minimum-wage earners were defined as hourly employees paid $7.25 an hour or less. Poverty and family income statistics come from the March supplement to the 2011 and 2012 CPS data. Data available for download at http://thedataweb.rm.census.gov/ftp/cps_ftp.html and https://cps.ipums.org/cps/
The 2.9 percent figure includes both salaried and hourly employees. Approximately 5 percent of hourly employees are paid the federal minimum wage.
These numbers include workers who also earn tip income. Many of those earning less than the minimum wage work in restaurants and make more than the minimum wage after taking tips into account.
 Heritage Foundation calculations based on data from U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey (CPS), 2011 and 2012 monthly surveys. Poverty and family income data are from the March supplement to the 2011 and 2012 CPS. Minimum wage workers are those who report earnings of $7.25 an hour or less.
Heritage Foundation analysis of data from the Current Population Survey (CPS). A single parent is defined as someone who reports that he or she has one or more of his or her own children present in the household and who is widowed, divorced, separated, or never married. Full-time employees are classified as those working 35 or more hours a week.
James Sherk and Patrick Tyrrell, “Obamacare and a Minimum Wage Hike Pricing Many Unskilled Workers Out of Their Jobs,” Heritage Foundation Issue Brief No. 4095, Nov. 22, 2013, http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/11/impact-of-obamacare-and-minimum-wage-hike-on-workers-and-jobs.