Minimum Wage Increase and Employment and Job Opportunities

Category: Law
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For many years now, people have been arguing over the minimum wage of $7.25. Some clam that it is too low and some even clam it is too high, but I have decided to do some research on the topic. In the book, Undocumented, Dan-el’s mother was a college graduate from the Dominican Republic and was compensated as such. When she later traveled to the United States to give birth to her second son, she ended up staying in the country longer than she was supposed to. She was forced to work minimum wage jobs because she was undocumented. She struggled greatly trying to provide for her family on low-income jobs. My opinion before researching subject is that for most, jobs and careers are two different things. Jobs are things we do for compensation but not what we plan on doing for the rest of our lives. Careers are something that should generally interest us and make us want to do them until retirement or death. Many jobs pay minimum wage because that is what best fits the businesses model. If the minimum wage was to rise, businesses would have to raise their prices to maintain a steady profit. Overall, I feel that jobs that pay minimum wage are for teenagers looking for a little cash and maybe college students who need to pay for books. I don’t believe it should be a primary source of income for a person or their family.

The first article I’ve chosen is, Is Raising Minimum Wage a Good Idea? This article discusses many theories that don’t support raising the minimum wage. After Romich introduces the topic of the journal, she begins by reviling the results of the Seattle Minimum Wage Study Team found in 2016. They discovered that after wages rose, scheduled hours and job holdings decreased slightly. So, after raising the minimum wage they were only earning a few dollars more a week. Employers also didn’t have reliable schedules and that caused employees to have more daily tasks. This overall offset the increase in minimum wage because the employees’ work load was drastically increased. The next topic Romich discussed is that raising the minimum wage would not likely reduce the poverty line. A study reviled that a 10% increase in minimum wage would only make the poverty line decrease by 2% (Dude, 2013; Romach 368). Studies also show, For workers with earnings near the poverty line particularly workers with children key support programs such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program phase out in a way that a $1 increase in earnings triggers a loss of benefits of $0.50 or more (Romach & Hill 2017; Romach 368).

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The second article I’ve chose is, The Effects of Minimum Wage on Employment. In this article, Totty uses data from charts to solve the long-disputed argument over raising the federal minimum wage. He starts of by talking about the three major federal hikes in minimum wage to happen in the United States since 1990. Those three hikes put the minimum wage where it is now at $7.25, but minimum wage is mostly a state affair. There are currently 29 states with a minimum wage higher than $7.25 and most of those areas are in the Northeast, parts of the Midwest, and the West Coast of the United States. Many from those areas believe that the federal minimum wage should be increased from $7.25 to $15.00 and that has gained a lot of attention recently. Totty also states, This approach tends to find minimum wage-employment elasticity estimates in the range of 0.10 to 0.20, meaning that a 10% increase in the minimum wage causes a 1%-2% decrease in employment for low-skilled workers such as teenagers (Totty 1713). However, he continues by reveling that the effects of an increase in minimum wage more than 50% are unknown. It is possible that it may not have a nonexistent or drastic effect on employment.

The third article I’ve chosen is The Effect of Minimum Wage on Adolescent Fertility. Bullinger argues that higher wages help keep teenagers involved in the current labor market they are in and this could possibly increase their chances of future advancement opportunities. Overall, this would help delay the decision to have a child by thinking of their careers first. Bullinger found that this is mostly true in Non-Hispanic Whites and Hispanics. She then goes on by stating, Specifically, a $1 increase in the real minimum wage reduces adolescent birth rates by roughly 2%. In 2014, 249,078 babies were born to adolescent mothers. A 2% reduction implies approximately 5000 fewer infants born to adolescent mothers (Bellinger 450). She found this by analyzing state wide minimum wage changes and adolescent birth rate data from 2003 to 2014. Bullinger also briefly states, Adolescent parenthood is linked to several negative health and economic consequences for mothers and their children and costs the public more than $9 billion because of expenses related to health care, foster care, and foregone tax revenue from adolescent parents (Bullinger 450). She then concludes by stating that fewer adolescent births and a higher minimum wage could help lower these costs.

The forth article I’ve chosen is The Effects of Increased Minimum Wage on Infant Mortality and Birth Weight. Komro starts off by stating that low income and the premature mortality rate in one’s lifetime have been compared by researchers several times before. He then reveals that, The US excess infant mortality rate (defined in comparison with 4 peer countries) during the postneonatal period (28-364 days) is driven almost entirely by excess infant deaths among mothers of lower socioeconomic status (Komro 1514). Throughout his own research, Komro found that infant deaths are more likely to come from lower-class individuals. He also found that low birth weight is also a consequence of low income and has been established as one of the most important factors of infant mortality. Not only does low income affect infants but it can also increase the risk of deleterious health and economic effects in the lives of adults. Surprisingly, more than 1 in 4 women giving birth in the United States are below poverty level. Komro then says, The current federal minimum wage ($15,080 annual income) is not enough to lift a fulltime worker with 1 or 2 children above the poverty threshold ($15,930 and $20,090, respectively) (Komro 1514). He then states, Based on the findings, if all states in 2014 had increased their minimum wages by 1 dollar there would likely have been an estimated 2790 fewer low birth weight births and 518 fewer postneonatal deaths for the year.

All the articles I selected made very compelling arguments. The first and second articles talked more about the negative theories of raising minimum wage. The main one being the theory that a federal minimum wage increase would decrease employment and job opportunities. From evidence of other nationwide increases in minimum wage the employment rate only dropped slightly. However, most individuals wanted a raise from $7.25 to $15.00. That possibly could have a more drastic effect on minimum wage because it is over a 50% raise. The other two articles were about raising the minimum wage to help with pregnancies and infants. The third article focused mainly on adolescent fertility. That article uses minimum wage as an excuse for teenagers getting pregnant and they found that they are slightly correlated. The other article focused more on child weight and abortion. The results were the same as the last artice were they showed some correlation. I feel that after doing some research a slight raise in minimum wage would not be a very big problem at all. The articles provide actual data proving that a slight raise in minimum wage would not have a very big effect on employment. However, I do not support a raise in over 50% because it is unpredictable and may causes any economy to collapse.

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Minimum wage increase and employment and job opportunities. (2019, Jul 24). Retrieved from