3 posts categorized "Minimum wage"


Texans earning minimum wage increased in 2009, BLS says

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said today that, in 2009, 474,000 Texas workers earned at or below the prevailing Federal minimum wage.


That accounted for 8.5 percent of hourly-paid workers in Texas, the BLS estimated.


“The number of workers in this category rose by more than 200,000 over the year,” the BLS said.


“The number of Texans earning at or below the Federal minimum wage in 2009 was essentially equal to the 1998 level of 466,000; this number trended downward to a low of 173,000 in 2006,” the BLS said. “Increases in the Federal minimum wage in each of the last three years resulted in larger numbers of Texans paid at or below the Federal minimum.”


Nearly 11 percent of women who were paid at hourly rates had wages at or below the prevailing Federal minimum wage, compared with about 6 percent of men, the BLS said.


Texas had the largest number of minimum wage workers among all the states and accounted for 13.3 percent of the U.S. total in 2009.


- Scott Nishimura, jobs and workplace reporter, Star-Telegram


Debate rages on minimum wage hikes

There's no shortage of opinion on whether the raise in federal minimum wage is a godsend, or about to drive the country deeper into recession. Here's a sampling of analysis available this week from various quarters on the topic:

Here's the Dallas Fed Bank's "Higher Minimum Wage Looms Large in Texas" article last year, which essentially comes down the middle on the issue.

From the Economic Policy Institute: "Even with this latest increase, workers making minimum wage today are earning about 18 percent less than in 1968," And, "minimum wage increases stimulate the Waistre economy through increased consumer spending."

From the National Center for Policy Analysis in Dallas: "Today's increase in the minimum wage will discourage employment growth even more than expected, mainly because of the impact of health care costs."

From letjusticeroll.org, which is campaigning for Congress to raise the minimum wage base for tipped workers to $3.75 per hour from $2.13, where it's been "frozen" since 1991: "Tipped workers, such as restaurant servers, delivery workers and others will benefit from the July 24 increase, because base pay plus tips must add up to the minimum wage or else employers must make up the difference. But too many managers take advantage of workers by illegally underpaying them." Here's a report from the National Employment Law Project on tipped workers' and their wages. 

From the National Small Business Administration: "Amid a tight labor market, most owners were already paying higher-than-required wages to attract and retain workers, even entry-level ones. However, economic conditions are quite different today than they were only two short years ago. Unemployment has increase for nine months straight...Throwing a minimum wage hike into the mix could hurt."

Wondering how much income you need to stay above poverty in America?

Here's the Poverty in America Living Wage Calculator from Penn State University. You can get their researchers' estimate on what it costs to make ends meet in Tarrant County.

Finally, here's the Bureau of Labor Statistics "Characteristics of Minimum Wage Workers: 2008" report.

- Scott Nishimura, jobs and workplace reporter, Star-Telegram 

Minimum wage earners get 70-cent pay raise Friday

Scarlton Here's today's story on the 70-cents-per-hour increase in the federal minimum wage.

Here's the link to Experience Works, the federally funded program mentioned in the story that provides paid on-the-job training to lower-income people ages 55 and older, in hopes of moving them into higher-paying jobs.

Here's a link to the Dallas Fed Bank's paper on minimum wage that we refer to in the story. 

Scott Nishimura, jobs and workplace reporter, Star-Telegram


(Photo:Minimum wage earner Stewart Carlton, left, helps clients at the Workforce Solutions center in Weatherford.)


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