The Massachusetts Minimum Wage: Past, Present and Future

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1 The Massachusetts Minimum Wage: Past, Present and Future Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center 15 Court Square, Suite 700, Boston, MA

2 In 1912 Massachusetts Passed the First Minimum Wage Law in the U.S. March 1912: Workers in Lawrence, MA go on strike and win higher wages. June, 1912: Chapter 706 of the Acts of 1912 requires new wage boards in Massachusetts to set wage rates sufficient to supply the necessary cost of living and to maintain the workers in health. 1938: President Roosevelt signs the Fair Labor Standards Act establishing a national minimum wage and guaranteeing basic rights to workers.

3 Wage Inequality Has Grown in Recent Decades in Massachusetts Real Value of Hourly Wages at 20 th and 90 th Percentiles; Real Value of Minimum Wage (2011$) $60 $50 $40 $30 $ th percentile 20th percentile min wage $47.83 $20 $10 $- $10.75 $ $8.00 Source: U.S. Department of Labor; Economic Policy Institute analysis of Current Population Survey data.

4 The Real Value of the Minimum Wage Has Dropped 24 Percent Since 1968 Real Value of the MA Minimum Wage (Actual ; Projected ); 2012 $ $12 $10.52 $10 $ $8.00 $6.84 $ Projected $4 $2 $ Source: U.S. Department of Labor; Bureau of Labor Statistics. Real value calculated using the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers (CPI-U); values based on Congressional Budget Office projections for the CPI-U.

5 A Full-Time Minimum Wage Worker Earns $5,000 Less Today Compared to 1968 Real Value of Minimum Wage for a Full-Time Worker (2000 Hours per Year), 2012 $ 25,000 20,000 15,000 $21,046 Poverty Threshold for a 3-Person Family $16,000 10,000 5,000 - Source: U.S. Department of Labor; U.S. Census Bureau

6 Minimum Wage Today if it Had Grown at the Same Rate as Projected 2012 Minimum Wage Using Selected Indices $28 $24 $62.36 $20 $16 $12 $8 $4 $8.00 $10.52 $13.87 $16.02 $0 Current MA Min Wage Inflation since 1968 Wages of the top 10% since 1979 Worker productivity since 1979 Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Economic Policy Institute analysis of Current Population Survey and BLS data. CEO compensation since 1978

7 Raising the Minimum Wage to $10 Per Hour Would Help Restore its Value Real Value of the Massachusetts Minimum Wage (actual ; projected ) $11.00 $10.00 $9.00 $8.00 $7.00 $6.00 Increase to $10 & Index Current Law Increase to $10, No Index $ Source: U.S. Department of Labor; MassBudget calculations for based on Congressional Budget Office projections for

8 Minimum Wage Increases Have Two Effects Direct Effect: Workers who earn below the new minimum wage will receive and automatic raise when the increase takes effect. Indirect Effect: Workers who earn slightly above the new minimum wage will receive pay increases as the wage floor adjusts upward.

9 Increasing the Minimum Wage to $10 Will Affect One in Five MA Workers 325,000 Directly Affected $2,078 Average Increase 256,000 Indirectly Affected $580 Average Increase Source: Economic Policy Institute projections based on 2010 Current Population Survey data

10 More than Half the Workers Affected by a Minimum Wage Increase Are Women Directly Affected by Increase to $10: 186,000 women $2,021 average per year Indirectly Affected by Increase to $10: 141,000 women $527 average per year Source: Economic Policy Institute analysis of Current Population Survey

11 One in Four Workers Who Will Receive a Pay Increase Has Children About 277,000 children have a parent who will be affected by a minimum wage increase. About 46,000 children affected by a minimum wage increase live in households below the poverty threshold. Source: Economic Policy Institute analysis of Current Population Survey

12 Size of Wage Increase Did Not Determine Job Loss in Recent Recession Change in non-farm employment December, 2007-June, 2009, ranked by size of minimum wage increase 1% 0% -1% -2% -3% -4% -5% -6% Increase: RI $0 CT $0.35 ME $0.50 MA $0.50 VT $0.53 NH $2.10 Source: EPI analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data; Department of Labor data on minimum wage levels; increase in state minimum wage between January, 2007 and January, 2009.

13 Low Wage Jobs Have Grown Faster than High- Wage Jobs Index of change in employment level by industry type as of each January, (January 1995 = 100); shaded areas denote recession Min Wage Increase Min Wage Increase Low Concentration of MW earners High Concentration of MW earners 80 Jan-95 Jan-97 Jan-99 Jan-01 Jan-03 Jan-05 Jan-07 Jan-09 Jan-11 Source: Economic Policy Institute Analysis of Current Employment Statistics survey data. High concentration industries include Retail Trade, Leisure and Hospitality and Other Services; Low concentration industries include Manufacturing, Construction, Transportation & Utilities, Information, Financial Activities, Professional & Business

14 Economic Policy Institute Model Projects Stimulus Effect 581,000 workers earn higher wages Additional spending = More demand for local goods and services More demand leads = New hiring Result: ~4,500 new jobs in Massachusetts Source: A Massachusetts minimum-wage increase would help working families and generate jobs (Economic Policy Institute, August, 2012)

15 Big Businesses Employ the Majority of Low- Wage Workers Two-thirds of low wage workers in the U.S. work for a corporation with over 100 employees. In Massachusetts only 17 percent of workers at all wage levels are employed in a business with 20 or fewer employees. Compensation for executives at 50 largest lowwage employers in the U.S. averaged $9.4 million last year. Source: National Employment Law Project; MassBudget analysis of Census data

16 "At Costco, we know good wages are good business. We keep our overhead low while still paying a starting wage of $11 an hour. Our employees are a big reason why our sales per square foot is almost double that of our nearest competitor. Instead of minimizing wages, we know it's a lot more profitable for the long term to minimize employee turnover and maximize employee productivity and commitment, product value, customer service and company reputation. -Costco Senior Vice President Jeff Long Statement Urging Passage of New York Minimum Wage Increase, May 24,

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