It’s an indisputable fact that a person working full time at the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour would earn $15,080 per year, below the federal poverty line for any household with children.* But opponents of minimum-wage increases like to claim that the workers who would see a raise are mostly “suburban teenagers.” In today’s tough economy, that is simply not true, as the charts below prove.**
* The potential annual full-time minimum-wage salary is calculated as follows: ($7.25 per hour x 40 hours per week) x 52 weeks per year = $15,080.
** Statistics are based on the author’s calculations of Center for Economic and Policy Research Uniform Extracts of the Current Population Survey Outgoing Rotation Group data for 2014. Calculations are based on the assumption that average inflation will meet the Federal Reserve’s target rate of 2 percent per year between now and 2020, making the $12 per hour minimum wage equivalent to roughly $10.87 in today’s dollars.
Sarah Jane Glynn is the Director for Women’s Economic Policy at the Center for American Progress.