How a Minimum Wage Increase Affects Minorities

The Center For American Progress recently released a study titled “The Benefits of Increasing the Minimum Wage for People of Color”. This study provides an in-depth analysis of the outcome of raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. The report, written by Vanessa Cárdenas, highlights what a minimum wage increase would mean to racial minorities.Hispanic_Minimum_Wage_Jobs.jpg

A full-time employee working for the current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour earns just $15,080 dollars a year. This puts a single person a mere $3,410 above the poverty level, and a two-person household below the federal poverty threshold. Ms. Cardenas culminates by writing the following:

Raising the minimum wage would mean a significant wage increase for blacks, Asians, and Hispanics, who would see their total wages rise by $5.2 billion, $2.4 billion, and $8.5 billion, respectively.

According to the same study, by increasing the minimum wage, there would be positive savings for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, previously known as food stamps) to the tune of 4.6 billion dollars annually. Raising the minimum wage would help reduce the divide between the rich and poor, which is worse among minorities. A 2010 study done by the University of Michigan’s National Poverty Center concluded, “27.4 percent of blacks and 26.6 percent of Hispanics were poor, compared to 9.9 percent of non-Hispanic whites and 12.1 percent of Asians.” A point well made by The Center For American Progress’ video titled “6 Surprising Facts About the Minimum Wage” (see below). Taking these statistics into account , it is easy to see why there is support on both sides of the political aisle for raising the minimum wage, according to a Pew research study written by Danielle Gewurz.