Tuesday, November 19, 2013

MassBudget: Useful resources on the state's minimum wage

MassBudget  Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center  Democracy.

The Minimum Wage: Useful Resources 
A strong minimum wage helps workers support their families, and it can also bolster our economy by increasing the amount workers have to spend at local businesses.

As part of an ongoing statewide discussion about whether to adjust the state's minimum wage--which has fallen 25% since 1968--the state Senate will soon begin debating a bill that would raise the minimum wage to $11 over three years.

"While our economy has become increasingly productive, wages for middle and low income workers have been stagnant and the value of the minimum wage has declined," said Noah Berger, President of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. "Because the value of the minimum wage hasn't kept pace with inflation, a full-time minimum wage worker now makes $5,000 a year less than in 1968--even though our economy is much more productive. When too many of our working people don't make enough to pay for basic necessities, it hurts those workers and their families--and the reduced demand for goods and services harms local businesses as well."

Today, we are releasing a new resource, "The Minimum Wage for Tipped Workers," which briefly describes how the minimum wage works for workers who regularly earn tips, like waiters and hairdressers. The $2.63 an hour that employers are required to pay these workers hasn't changed since 1999--and since 1968 the inflation adjusted value of the tipped minimum wage has fallen 58 percent. While tipped workers are required to get the full minimum wage when tips are included, recent studies have found that states with a low "tipped minimum wage" tend to have higher poverty rates for tipped workers.   

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) produces policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income children and adults, strengthening our state's economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.

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