Analyst: Raising minimum wage would hold workers back

Monday, October 28, 2013
Chris Woodward (

The minimum wage turned 75 years old this month, and so did the debate about it.

The Economic Policy Institute is "celebrating and fighting for the minimum wage." And while people think teenagers working part-time after school to earn extra money are the ones helped by raising the minimum wage, EPI says that in reality, the average age of a beneficiary is 35 years old, many of them women and full-time workers.


James Sherk of The Heritage Foundation sees things differently.

"I think the minimum wage is the triumph of hope over experience -- that the people who support the raising of the minimum wage have the best of intentions, but with those very good intentions they wind up supporting a policy that winds up holding many workers back and perversely making it more difficult for them to get ahead," he tells OneNewsNow.

Using data from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Sherk reports that a majority of minimum wage workers are in fact between the ages of 16 and 24, many of them working part-time.

"In fact, the average family income of a minimum wage worker is over $50,000 a year," he explains. "You certainly don't get that at $7.25. The reason that happens is because most minimum wage earners are secondary earners in their family."

And while the Economic Policy Institute is calling for a higher minimum wage, Sherk and The Heritage Foundation believe that will lead to fewer jobs for workers and higher prices for consumers.

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