I am in the process of revising my intermediate macro book. As I was updating the section on the minimum wage, I was struck by how much the data has changed over three years. The minimum wage has a much larger role now than it did three years ago, in large part because of the legislated increase in the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour. For example, comparing the 2010 data
with the 2007 data
, one finds the following:
Question for class discussion
- The percentage of all hourly-paid workers paid at or below the minimum wage rose from 2.3 to 6.0 percent.
- The percentage of part-time workers paid at or below the minimum wage rose from 5 to 14 percent.
- The percentage of teenage workers paid at or below the minimum wage rose from 7 to 25 percent.
: In light of what is occurring with the overall economy during this period, how would you evaluate the policy change regarding the minimum wage?