Center for American Progress

Higher Minimum Wages Support Job Growth as the Economy Recovers From COVID-19
Report

Higher Minimum Wages Support Job Growth as the Economy Recovers From COVID-19

States that guarantee better pay for their workers have added more jobs in 2021 than states with lower minimum and subminimum wages.

A "now hiring" sign at a McDonald's restaurant in Yorba Linda, California, offers pay from $15 per hour, as workers across the region show reluctance to resume service industry jobs, September 2021. (Getty/Jeff Gritchen/Orange County Register)

Many business owners and executives seem to share the belief that everyone is paid the true value of their work, whether that is $30 million a year or $7.25 an hour. In that vein, they often argue that minimum wage laws set an unnatural price floor that prevents people who would be willing to work for less from doing so, ultimately increasing business expenses and costing millions of jobs.1 This argument conveniently ignores the human needs for food, shelter, and financial security that leave workers with little choice but to accept poverty wages in a society that does not adequately provide any of these basic needs.2 Indeed, the U.S. economy largely rewards those same business owners with extraordinary profits garnered directly from the exploitation of desperate low-income individuals and families.

Yet countless studies show that increases to minimum wages have not resulted in massive job losses.3 While the federal minimum wage in the United States has been stuck at $7.25 for more than 12 years—losing 21 percent of its value during that time due to inflation4—many states and cities have raised their own minimum wages above the federal level without suffering serious setbacks to their economies.5 Several states have also eliminated the tipped minimum wage, which has remained at $2.13 per hour federally since 1991, increasing pay and reducing poverty among workers in tipped industries.6 This is particularly important given that tipped minimum wages are rooted in a history of racism and sexism7 and subject many tipped workers to abusive working conditions.8

For months, U.S. employers—particularly those in the low-wage service industry—have complained of “labor shortages,”9 laying most of the blame on the enhanced unemployment benefits that were passed under the American Rescue Plan and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. However, numerous studies and recent data show that unemployment insurance did not significantly discourage people from seeking or taking good jobs,10 but actually stimulated the economy to the tune of billions of dollars in consumer spending.11

Rather than an unwillingness to work, the so-called labor shortage has been driven by the ongoing pandemic,12 a lack of affordable and accessible child care,13 the market’s difficulty matching workers with the right employers,14 and the need for better pay and working conditions.15 Many businesses have found attracting workers much easier after improving conditions and increasing wages.16 In reality, the story of the U.S. economy in 2021 is not about a shortage of workers, but a shortage of good jobs.

Employment in the predominantly low-wage leisure and hospitality industry has recovered faster in states that guarantee better pay for low-wage workers.

A new analysis presented in this issue brief shows that having higher minimum wages and eliminating subminimum wages has not hindered job growth. Indeed, employment in the predominantly low-wage leisure and hospitality industry has recovered faster in states that guarantee better pay for low-wage workers. The fact of the matter is that successful businesses in the United States can easily afford to pay a living wage to all of their workers without being significantly harmed financially.

One way to ensure better wages in leisure and hospitality and all industries throughout the country is for Congress to pass the Raise the Wage Act.17 Under this bill, workers would receive a minimum wage of $15 per hour after several years of gradual increases, indexed to median wages thereafter; additionally, subminimum wages for tipped, disabled, and temporary teenage workers would increase over several years until they equal the default minimum wage.18 States also have the ability to bring pay for workers up to a truly livable standard by passing their own versions of the Raise the Wage Act, as Delaware did this year by increasing its minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025.19

States with higher and more equitable minimum wages have seen a quicker recovery

The leisure and hospitality industry, which includes a high number of front-line workers vulnerable to COVID-19 exposure, was devastated by the onset of the pandemic. Between February 2020 and April 2020, the industry lost 8.2 million jobs, or 49 percent of its prepandemic total—significantly more than any other industry.20 But widespread vaccine distribution beginning in early 2021 sparked a sustained nationwide economic recovery, growing employment between January 2021 and September 2021 by 3.4 percent overall;21 in leisure and hospitality, employment grew by 16.8 percent, or 2.2 million jobs, in that time.22 However, job growth in leisure and hospitality has varied significantly across states, particularly when comparing by minimum wage and tipped minimum wage levels.

As shown in Figure 1, states with higher minimum wages have seen faster job growth in the leisure and hospitality industry since January 2021. States with a minimum wage of more than $12 an hour saw industrywide employment growth of 25 percent, compared with only 7 percent growth in states still using the federal minimum of $7.25. Although there was some variation from state to state, there is a clear trend that states with higher minimum wages have seen more job growth.

Figure 1

Similarly, Figure 2 shows that states that have already eliminated the tipped minimum wage had faster job growth in the leisure and hospitality industry than states that still retained subminimum wages for tipped workers. States without a tipped minimum wage had 29 percent growth in leisure and hospitality jobs between January and September of this year, while states using the federal tipped minimum of $2.13 only grew by 6 percent over the same period.

Figure 2

In many ways, the leisure and hospitality industry is the poster child for low-quality jobs. It is by far the lowest-paying industry, with an average wage for production and nonsupervisory employees of $14.91 per hour as of February 2020, which was more than $6 less than the next lowest-paid industry of trade, transportation, and utilities.23 Benefits, too, are minimal and harder to come by: Only half of leisure and hospitality workers receive paid sick leave, and just 32 percent have access to health care benefits.24 Wage theft, exploitive scheduling, and abuses such as sexual harassment are also rampant in the industry.25

In the new economic reality created by COVID-19, $15 an hour is quickly becoming the minimum expectation for workers, especially for those in undesirable and even dangerous front-line jobs.26 Since the start of the recovery in January 2021, average wages have been increasing across all industries, but especially in leisure and hospitality.27 Newfound worker power resulting from the high demand for labor and changing standards for acceptable work conditions28 have pushed businesses across the country to improve their compensation, incentives, qualification expectations, and work environments to attract and retain workers.29 For example, some restaurants are now paying tipped employees a full minimum wage or higher, allowing workers to keep tips on top of that hourly rate.30

While many low-wage employers have had to raise wages to attract workers during the economic recovery, businesses in states that already had higher minimum wages were able to staff up faster than those in lower-wage states, likely in part because businesses in higher-wage states did not have to raise pay by nearly as much to reach a sufficient wage offer. Likewise, in the eight states31 that have eliminated the tipped minimum wage, businesses have more experience operating profitably in an environment where workers do not want their livelihoods to be totally reliant on customers’ generosity.

Other factors, such as vaccine take-up rates, have likely affected job growth and the economic recovery as well. This analysis found some correlation between higher minimum wages and vaccination rates among states, although not between subminimum wages and vaccination rates. However, vaccination rates alone only partially explain the divergence in economic recoveries.32

States with higher and more equitable minimum wages are projected to surpass pre-COVID-19 employment sooner

Furthermore, despite losing a greater percentage of jobs at the start of the pandemic, states that guarantee higher wages for low-income workers are on pace to surpass their pre-COVID-19 leisure and hospitality employment levels months before the lower-wage states, as figures 3 and 4 show below.

States that guarantee higher wages for low-income workers are on pace to surpass their pre-COVID-19 leisure and hospitality employment levels months before lower-wage states.

Based on the current trend of job growth in leisure and hospitality since January 2021, states with a minimum wage greater than $12 an hour would be expected to surpass their pre-COVID-19 employment levels in the industry by July 2022. States with a minimum wage between $10.01 and $12 an hour would be projected to reach pre-COVID-19 levels in August 2022. Meanwhile, states using the federal minimum of $7.25 would not reach prepandemic employment levels in leisure and hospitality until November 2022, and states with a minimum wage between $7.26 and $10 would not get there until December of next year.

Figure 3

Likewise, states that have eliminated the tipped minimum wage are projected to meet prepandemic leisure and hospitality employment levels by May 2022; states using a tipped minimum wage greater than $2.13 per hour are not expected to meet prepandemic employment levels until October 2022; and states using the federal tipped minimum of $2.13 are not projected to reach prepandemic employment levels until December 2022.

Figure 4

These estimations assume that current trends hold, without any major economic disruptions in the coming months. Nonetheless, the data so far are clear: Having higher minimum wages, and eliminating subminimum wages, has not impeded employment growth and, in fact, can play an important role in helping businesses attract and retain workers while supporting a thriving economy.

Dispelling myths about raising the minimum wage

Even though higher wages have not resulted in a wave of business closures, critics of raising the minimum wage and eliminating subminimum wages—namely business associations and conservative research and advocacy organizations—argue that doing so would result in massive layoffs and price hikes.33 However, these arguments and potential negative effects are greatly exaggerated.

Opponents of a $15 minimum wage often refer to a report from the U.S. Congressional Budget Office that estimates increasing the wage to that level would reduce employment by 0.9 percent, or 1.4 million workers, by 2025.34 The report has since drawn criticism from economists who believe it overstates the potential job losses by placing heavier weight on studies that found more negative impacts, and that a more accurate estimate of job losses would be less than 500,000.35 This is consistent with recent research trends that have found minimum wage increases to have little or no negative impact on employment,36 and that any decline in income from potential employment loss would be more than offset by the greater earnings of millions of low-wage workers.37 For individuals who do lose their jobs, it is important that they have access to a strong and modernized safety net system to support them while they look for employment.38

While critics are also quick to argue that higher labor costs will be passed on to consumers through higher prices for goods and services, price increases will not be as disastrous as some claim. Recent estimates of price increases range from just 0.36 percent to 0.58 percent for each 10 percent increase in the minimum wage.39 These minor increases—only a few cents extra on a $10 tab—would take place across several years and be more than offset by higher wages throughout the economy. A more legitimate concern is that business owners might reduce employee hours or replace full-time staff with part-time workers so they do not have to provide benefits such as health care or paid leave.40 This is why it is also critical to pass fair workweek legislation at the state and federal levels—wherein employers are required to offer additional hours to existing employees before hiring new staff—to ensure that American workers are getting enough income to sustain themselves.41

In addition, claims that the federal minimum wage should vary regionally depending on costs of living are misleading.42 A $15 minimum wage is basically the lowest amount on which anyone can sustainably and healthily live in lower-cost states, and it still would not be enough to accommodate families of four or larger with two working adults both making minimum wage.43 It must be the floor for the entire country, to be increased from that level as needed in higher-cost areas.

Conclusion

A $15 minimum wage would give a pay increase to an estimated 32 million low-wage workers and lift 3.7 million people in the United States out of poverty.44 Importantly, it would also address longstanding gender and racial inequities, as people of color, women, and women of color in particular are disproportionately represented among low- and minimum wage workers.45

While Congress must pass the federal Raise the Wage Act, state and local policymakers should also take their own steps to ensure that every single one of their workers receives at least $15 per hour. In addition to eliminating poverty-level wages, providing workers with more economic opportunity, and decreasing the need to subsidize low incomes through the safety net to meet basic needs,46 increasing the wage floor will provide an extra boost to the economy through the greater spending power of low-wage workers.47 And on the employment side, raising the minimum wage would increase worker productivity and reduce staff turnover,48 which decreases the costs of frequently hiring and training new staff.

It is long past time that every town, city, and state in the country be held to a higher standard that prioritizes people’s financial security and well-being. The enormous benefits of helping workers earn a living wage will ultimately spur stronger economic growth and a more equitable society as the United States continues to recover from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. The question is: Are employers and lawmakers willing to see that?

Justin Schweitzer is a policy analyst for the Poverty to Prosperity Program at the Center for American Progress. Kyle Ross is a special assistant for the Poverty to Prosperity Program at the Center.

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank Arohi Pathak, Rose Khattar, Lily Roberts, Lorena Roque, and Areeba Haider for their review, fact-checking, and impactful notes.

Endnotes

  1. James Kwak, “The Curse of Econ 101,” The Atlantic, January 14, 2017, available at https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/01/economism-and-the-minimum-wage/513155/.
  2. Joan McGregor, “Bargaining Advantages and Coercion in the Market,” Philosophy Research Archives 14 (1988): 23–50, available at https://philpapers.org/rec/MCGBAA-3.
  3. Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, “Better Wages, Better Tips: Restaurants Flourish with One Fair Wage” (New York: 2018), available at https://chapters.rocunited.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/OneFairWage_W.pdf; Sylvia Allegretto and Carl Nadler, “Tipped Wage Effects on Earnings and Employment in Full-Service Restaurants” (Berkeley, CA: Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, 2015), available at https://irle.berkeley.edu/files/2015/Tipped-Wage-Effects-on-Earnings-and-Employment-in-Full-Service-Restaurants.pdf; Anna Godoey and Michael Reich, “Minimum Wage Effects in Low-Wage Areas” (Berkeley, CA: Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, 2019), available at https://irle.berkeley.edu/minimum-wage-effects-in-low-wage-areas/; Paul J. Wolfson and Dale Belman, “15 Years of Research on U.S. Employment and the Minimum Wage” (Hanover, NH: Tuck School of Business, 2016), available at https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2705499; Doruk Cengiz and others, “The Effect of Minimum Wages on Low-Wage Jobs,” The Quarterly Journal of Economics 134 (3) (2019): 1405–1454, available at https://doi.org/10.1093/qje/qjz014.
  4. Ben Zipperer, “The minimum wage has lost 21% of its value since Congress last raised the wage,” Economic Policy Institute, July 22, 2021, available at https://www.epi.org/blog/the-minimum-wage-has-lost-21-of-its-value-since-congress-last-raised-the-wage/.
  5. Cengiz and others, “The Effect of Minimum Wages on Low-Wage Jobs.”
  6. Justin Schweitzer, “Ending the Tipped Minimum Wage Will Reduce Poverty and Inequality: One Fair Wage States Are Better for Workers in Tipped Industries” (Washington: Center for American Progress, 2021), available at https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/poverty/reports/2021/03/30/497673/ending-tipped-minimum-wage-will-reduce-poverty-inequality/.
  7. One Fair Wage, Food Labor Research Center at University of California, Berkeley, and National Black Workers’ Center Project, “Ending A Legacy of Slavery: How Biden’s COVID Relief Plan Cures the Racist Subminimum Wage” (2021), available at https://onefairwage.site/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/OFW_EndingLegacyOfSlavery-2.pdf.
  8. Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, “Take Us Off the Menu: The Impact of Sexual Harassment in the Restaurant Industry” (New York: 2018), available at https://rocunited.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/7/2020/02/TakeUsOffTheMenuReport.pdf; Schweitzer, “Ending the Tipped Minimum Wage Will Reduce Poverty and Inequality.”
  9. Jeff Stein, “Jeff Stein: Are Businesses CRYING WOLF On Labor Shortages?”, Youtube, May 6, 2021, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_f6ef8uAkYk.
  10. Greg Iacurci, “September jobs report hints at unemployment benefits’ muted role in pandemic labor market,” CNBC, October 8, 2021, available at https://www.cnbc.com/2021/10/08/september-jobs-report-covid-pandemic-unemployment-benefits.html; Arindrajit Dube, “Aggregate Employment Effects of Unemployment Benefits During Deep Downturns: Evidence from the Expiration of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation” (Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research, 2021), available at https://www.nber.org/system/files/working_papers/w28470/w28470.pdf; Ioana Marinescu, Daphne Skandalis, and Daniel Zhao, “The Impact of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation on Job Search and Vacancy Creation” (Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research, 2021), available at https://www.nber.org/system/files/working_papers/w28567/w28567.pdf; Nicolas Petrosky-Nadeau and Robert G. Valletta, “Did the $600 Unemployment Supplement Discourage Work?”, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Economic Letter, September 21, 2020, available at https://www.frbsf.org/economic-research/files/el2020-28.pdf.
  11. Kyle Coombs and others, “Early Withdrawal of Pandemic Unemployment Insurance: Effects on Earnings, Employment and Consumption” (New York: Columbia University and others, 2021), available at https://files.michaelstepner.com/pandemicUIexpiration-paper.pdf.
  12. Nick Bunker, “Indeed Job Search Survey June 2021: COVID Concerns and Financial Cushions Make Job Search Less Urgent,” Indeed Hiring Lab, June 29, 2021, available at https://www.hiringlab.org/2021/06/29/indeed-job-seeker-survey-june-2021/; Christopher Rugaber, “US hiring slows as delta variant weakens travel and tourism,” Associated Press, September 3, 2021, available at https://apnews.com/article/business-6957d76cbcb1fe91d88daeca65cfda32.
  13. Heather Long, “‘We’re back to panicking’: Moms are hit hardest with camps and day cares closing again,” The Washington Post, August 6, 2021, available at https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/08/06/delta-variant-moms/.
  14. Rani Molla and Emily Stewart, “Why everybody’s hiring but nobody’s getting hired,” Vox, September 20, 2021, available at https://www.vox.com/recode/22673353/unemployment-job-search-linkedin-indeed-algorithm.
  15. Tom Spiggle, “What Does a Worker Want? What the Labor Shortage Really Tells Us,” Forbes, July 8, 2021, available at https://www.forbes.com/sites/tomspiggle/2021/07/08/what-does-a-worker-want-what-the-labor-shortage-really-tells-us/?sh=3d994aa3539d; Ian Thomas, “Raising wages isn’t enough to attract and keep workers, experts say,” CNBC, September 1, 2021, available at https://www.cnbc.com/2021/09/01/raising-wages-isnt-enough-to-attract-and-keep-workers-experts-say-.html; Dani Romero, “Seeing link between wages and workers, more businesses raise the former to address the latter,” Yahoo! News, August 8, 2021, available at https://news.yahoo.com/businesses-bite-the-bullet-hike-pay-to-lure-in-workers-124713615.html.
  16. Zahra Tayeb, “This cafe chain owner who pays $15 an hour says his commitment to treating staff fairly helped him avoid the labor shortage,” Business Insider, September 18, 2021, available at https://www.businessinsider.com/bluestone-lane-cafe-labor-shortage-pandemic-fair-wages-employees-2021-9?amp; Eli Rosenberg, “These businesses found a way around the worker shortage: Raising wages to $15 an hour or more,” The Washington Post, June 10, 2021, available at https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/06/10/worker-shortage-raising-wages/.
  17. Raise the Wage Act of 2021, S. 53, 117th Cong., 1st sess. (January 26, 2021), available at https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/senate-bill/53/text.
  18. Office of Sen. Maria Cantwell, “Fact Sheet: Raise the Wage Act of 2021,” available at https://www.cantwell.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Raise-the-Wage-Act-of-2021-Fact-Sheet-FINAL.pdf (last accessed October 2021).
  19. Mark Eichmann, “Gov. Carney officially sets Delaware on path to $15 minimum wage,” WHYY, July 19, 2021, available at https://whyy.org/articles/gov-carney-officially-sets-delaware-on-path-to-15-minimum-wage/.
  20. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, “All Employees, Leisure and Hospitality (USLAH),” available at https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=HEJf (last accessed October 2021).
  21. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, “All Employees, Total Nonfarm (PAYEMS),” available at https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=HEJ2 (last accessed October 2021).
  22. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, “All Employees, Leisure and Hospitality (USLAH).”
  23. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment Situation News Release — February 2021, Table B-8: Average hourly and weekly earnings of production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls by industry sector, seasonally adjusted,” Press release, March 5, 2021, available at https://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/empsit_03052021.htm.
  24. See tables 10 and 33 in U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “National Compensation Survey: Employee Benefits in the United States, March 2021” (Washington: 2021), available at https://www.bls.gov/ncs/ebs/benefits/2021/employee-benefits-in-the-united-states-march-2021.pdf.
  25. David Cooper and Teresa Kroeger, “Employers steal billions from workers’ paychecks each year” (Washington: Economic Policy Institute, 2017), available at https://www.epi.org/publication/employers-steal-billions-from-workers-paychecks-each-year/; Sylvia Allegretto and David Cooper, “Twenty-Three Years and Still Waiting for Change: Why It’s Time to Give Tipped Workers the Regular Minimum Wage” (Washington: Economic Policy Institute, 2014), available at https://www.epi.org/publication/waiting-for-change-tipped-minimum-wage/; Katherine Guyot and Richard V. Reeves, “Unpredictable work hours and volatile incomes are long-term risks for American workers” (Washington: Brookings Institution, 2020), available at https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2020/08/18/unpredictable-work-hours-and-volatile-incomes-are-long-term-risks-for-american-workers/; Heather Boushey and Bridget Ansel, “Working by the hour: The economic consequences of unpredictable scheduling practices” (Washington: Washington Center for Equitable Growth, 2016), available at https://equitablegrowth.org/working-by-the-hour-the-economic-consequences-of-unpredictable-scheduling-practices/; Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, “Take Us Off the Menu”; Jocelyn Frye, “Not Just the Rich and Famous: The Pervasiveness of Sexual Harassment Across Industries Affects All Workers,” Center for American Progress, November 20, 2017, available at https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/women/news/2017/11/20/443139/not-just-rich-famous/.
  26. Michael Sasso, “Tight U.S. Labor Market Makes $15 an Hour De Facto Minimum Wage,” Bloomberg Businessweek, September 16, 2021, available at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-09-16/-15-an-hour-minimum-wage-is-norm-due-to-market-forces-not-mandates; Christopher Rugaber, “$15 wage becoming a norm as employers struggle to fill jobs,” Associated Press, July 27, 2021, available at https://apnews.com/article/business-health-coronavirus-pandemic-minimum-wage-940a6a7530d734242c6f384b751b8033.
  27. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Average hourly earnings of production and nonsupervisory employees, leisure and hospitality, seasonally adjusted,” available at https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/CES7000000008?amp%253bdata_tool=XGtable&output_view=data&include_graphs=true (last accessed October 2021).
  28. Eric Morath and Greg Ip, “Tight Labor Market Returns the Upper Hand to American Workers,” The Wall Street Journal, June 20, 2021, available at https://www.wsj.com/articles/tight-labor-market-returns-the-upper-hand-to-american-workers-11624210501; Brian Scheid, “Wages rise for lower-income workers amid new demands, tight labor market,” S&P Global, May 26, 2021, available at https://www.spglobal.com/marketintelligence/en/news-insights/latest-news-headlines/wages-rise-for-lower-income-workers-amid-new-demands-tight-labor-market-64492625.
  29. Neil Irwin, “Workers Are Gaining Leverage Over Employers Right Before Our Eyes,” The New York Times,” June 5, 2021, available at https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/05/upshot/jobs-rising-wages.html; Rosenberg, “These businesses found a way around the worker shortage”; Christopher Rugaber, “Worker pay rises strongly as businesses compete to attract talent,” Fortune, July 30, 2021, https://fortune.com/2021/07/30/wages-salaries-increase-businesses-attract-talent-jobs/.
  30. Jane Black, “How to Make an Unloved Job More Attractive? Restaurants Tinker With Wages,” The New York Times, September 20, 2021, available at https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/20/dining/restaurant-wages.html.
  31. Hawaii allows employers to pay a tipped minimum wage $0.75 below the regular minimum wage if an employee’s combined base wage plus tips is at least $7.00 per hour more than the regular minimum wage, which means that Hawaii has effectively eliminated the tipped minimum.
  32. The R-squared value between the 2021 minimum wage and vaccination rates of working-age individuals ages 18 to 64 as of September 15 was about 0.51, meaning that the strength of states’ minimum wages accounted for about half of the variation in vaccine take-up. Similarly, the R-squared value between leisure and hospitality job growth from January 2021 to September 2021 and working-age vaccination rates was about 0.31. However, the R-squared value between working-age vaccination rates and the tipped minimum as a percentage of the regular minimum wage was a basically nonexistent 0.04.
  33. National Restaurant Association, “Raise the Wage Act,” April 8, 2021, available at https://restaurant.org/downloads/pdfs/advocacy/raise-the-wage-act.pdf; Americans for Tax Reform and others, “Coalition of 62 Groups, Activists, and Legislators Oppose $15 Federal Minimum Wage,” February 2, 2021, available at https://www.atr.org/sites/default/files/assets/ATR%20Coalition%20Letter%20in%20Opposition%20To%20A%20Nationwide%20%2415%20Minimum%20Wage%20.pdf.
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  35. Arindrajit Dube, “No, a $15 minimum wage won’t cost 1.4 million jobs,” The Washington Post, February 24, 2021, available at https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2021/02/24/minimum-wage-economic-research-job-loss/.
  36. National Employment Law Project, “Myths and Facts of a $15 Minimum Wage in Montgomery County, MD” (New York: 2016), available at https://s27147.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/Fact-Sheet-Myths-Facts-15-Minimum-Wage-Montgomery-County-Maryland.pdf; Ben Zipperer, “Testimony Before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor: Gradually raising the minimum wage to $15 would be good for workers, good for businesses, and good for the economy,” February 7, 2021, available at https://www.epi.org/publication/minimum-wage-testimony-feb-2019/; Michael Reich, Sylvia Allegretto, and Claire Montialoux, “The Employment Effects of a $15 Minimum Wage in the U.S. and in Mississippi: A Simulation Approach” (Berkeley, CA: Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, 2019), available at https://irle.berkeley.edu/the-employment-effects-of-a-15-minimum-wage-in-the-u-s-and-in-mississippi/.
  37. Dube, “No, a $15 minimum wage won’t cost 1.4 million jobs.”
  38. Rebecca Dixon and others, “Reforming unemployment insurance: Stabilizing a system in crisis and laying the foundation for equity” (New York: National Employment Law Project, 2021), available at https://www.nelp.org/publication/reforming-unemployment-insurance-stabilizing-a-system-in-crisis-and-laying-the-foundation-for-equity/.
  39. Daniel MacDonald and Eric Nilsson, “The Effects of Increasing the Minimum Wage on Prices: Analyzing the Incidence of Policy Design and Context” (Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, 2016), available at https://research.upjohn.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article=1278&context=up_workingpapers; Sylvia Allegretto and Michael Reich, “Are Local Minimum Wages Absorbed by Price Increases? Estimates from Internet-based Restaurant Menus” (Berkeley, CA: Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, 2016), available at https://irle.berkeley.edu/files/2015/Are-Local-Minimum-Wages-Absorbed-by-Price-Increases.pdf.
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  41. Julia Wolfe, Janelle Jones, and David Cooper, “‘Fair workweek’ laws help more than 1.8 million workers” (Washington: Economic Policy Institute, 2018), available at https://www.epi.org/publication/fair-workweek-laws-help-more-than-1-8-million-workers/.
  42. David Cooper and Lawrence Mishel, “Calls to establish a regionally adjusted federal minimum wage are dangerously misguided,” Economic Policy Institute, April 5, 2021, available at https://www.epi.org/blog/calls-to-establish-a-regionally-adjusted-federal-minimum-wage-are-dangerously-misguided/.
  43. Caius Z. Willingham, “Rural Workers of Color Need a $15 Federal Minimum Wage,” Center for American Progress, September 1, 2021, available at https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/news/2021/09/01/503330/rural-workers-color-need-15-federal-minimum-wage/; Greg Iacurci, “Many Americans, especially families, can’t live on a $15 minimum wage,” CNBC, February 21, 2021, available at https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/21/15-minimum-wage-wont-cover-living-costs-for-many-americans.html.
  44. David Cooper, Zane Mokhiber, and Ben Zipperer, “Raising the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2025 would lift the pay of 32 million workers” (Washington: Economic Policy Institute, 2021), available at https://www.epi.org/publication/raising-the-federal-minimum-wage-to-15-by-2025-would-lift-the-pay-of-32-million-workers/.
  45. Ibid.; Diana Boesch, Robin Bleiweis, and Areeba Haider, “Raising the Minimum Wage Would Be Transformative for Women,” Center for American Progress, February 23, 2021, available at https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/women/news/2021/02/23/496221/raising-minimum-wage-transformative-women/.
  46. Lily Roberts and Ben Olinsky, “Raising the Minimum Wage Would Boost an Economic Recovery—and Reduce Taxpayer Subsidization of Low-Wage Work,” Center for American Progress, January 27, 2021, available at https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/news/2021/01/27/495163/raising-minimum-wage-boost-economic-recovery-reduce-taxpayer-subsidization-low-wage-work/.
  47. Caius Z. Willingham, “Small Businesses Get a Boost From a $15 Minimum Wage” (Washington: Center for American Progress, 2021), available at https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/reports/2021/02/25/496355/small-businesses-get-boost-15-minimum-wage/.
  48. Ibid.

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Authors

Justin Schweitzer

Policy Analyst

Kyle Ross

Special Assistant

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