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The Effects on Employment and Family Income of Increasing the Federal Minimum Wage A Presentation

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour for most workers. CBO has examined how increasing the federal minimum wage to $10, $12, or $15 per hour by 2025 would affect employment and family income. Increasing the minimum wage would have two principal effects on low-wage workers. For most of them, earnings and family income would increase, which would lift some families out of poverty. But other low-wage workers would become jobless, and their family income would fall—in some cases, below the poverty threshold.

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Congressional Budget Office
University of Michigan
67th Annual Economic Outlook Conference
November 21, 2019
William J. Carrington
Microeconomic Studies Division
The Effects on Employment and Family Income
of Increasing the Federal Minimum Wage:
A Presentation
1
CBO
For more information, see Congressional Budget Office, The Effects on Employment and Family Income of Increasing the Federal Minimum Wage (July 2019),
www.cbo.gov/publication/55410.
Current Policy
 Federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour
for most workers
 For workers who get tips, “cash” wages
paid by employer must equal or exceed
$2.13 per hour, and total wages (including
“cash” and tips) must equal or exceed
$7.25 per hour
 Not indexed to inflation in prices or wages
The $15 Option
 Moves federal minimum wage to $15 by 2025
in yearly steps
 Indexed thereafter to changes in median hourly
earnings
 Cash minimum for workers who get tips
gradually moves to the regular minimum wage
The $12 and $10 Options
 Moves federal minimum wage to $12 or $10 by
2025 in yearly steps
 Not indexed thereafter
 No change for workers who get tips
The Policy Options That CBO Analyzed
2
CBO
a. Median estimates are calculated using median values of likely ranges for wage growth and the responsiveness of employment to changes in wages.
b. In CBO’s assessment, there is a two-thirds chance that the effect would be within this range.
Effects of Increases in the Federal Minimum Wage on
Employment and Family Income, 2025
3
CBO
Current Minimum-Wage Proposals
in Historical Context
4
CBO
a. The hourly wage of workers who did not report an hourly wage was estimated as their weekly earnings divided by their usual hours worked per week. Values beyond 2018 are projected under current law.
Workers’ Hourly Wages and the Federal Minimum Wage,
1973 to 2029
5
CBO
The two points labeled 2016 are options CBO analyzed in The Effects of a Minimum-Wage Increase on Employment and Family Income (February 2014), www.cbo.gov/publication/44995. Those options were not enacted.
Magnitude of Historical and Proposed Increases in the
Federal Minimum Wage

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The Effects on Employment and Family Income of Increasing the Federal Minimum Wage A Presentation

  • 1. Congressional Budget Office University of Michigan 67th Annual Economic Outlook Conference November 21, 2019 William J. Carrington Microeconomic Studies Division The Effects on Employment and Family Income of Increasing the Federal Minimum Wage: A Presentation
  • 2. 1 CBO For more information, see Congressional Budget Office, The Effects on Employment and Family Income of Increasing the Federal Minimum Wage (July 2019), www.cbo.gov/publication/55410. Current Policy  Federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for most workers  For workers who get tips, “cash” wages paid by employer must equal or exceed $2.13 per hour, and total wages (including “cash” and tips) must equal or exceed $7.25 per hour  Not indexed to inflation in prices or wages The $15 Option  Moves federal minimum wage to $15 by 2025 in yearly steps  Indexed thereafter to changes in median hourly earnings  Cash minimum for workers who get tips gradually moves to the regular minimum wage The $12 and $10 Options  Moves federal minimum wage to $12 or $10 by 2025 in yearly steps  Not indexed thereafter  No change for workers who get tips The Policy Options That CBO Analyzed
  • 3. 2 CBO a. Median estimates are calculated using median values of likely ranges for wage growth and the responsiveness of employment to changes in wages. b. In CBO’s assessment, there is a two-thirds chance that the effect would be within this range. Effects of Increases in the Federal Minimum Wage on Employment and Family Income, 2025
  • 5. 4 CBO a. The hourly wage of workers who did not report an hourly wage was estimated as their weekly earnings divided by their usual hours worked per week. Values beyond 2018 are projected under current law. Workers’ Hourly Wages and the Federal Minimum Wage, 1973 to 2029
  • 6. 5 CBO The two points labeled 2016 are options CBO analyzed in The Effects of a Minimum-Wage Increase on Employment and Family Income (February 2014), www.cbo.gov/publication/44995. Those options were not enacted. Magnitude of Historical and Proposed Increases in the Federal Minimum Wage
  • 8. 7 CBO Shares of Workers, by States’ Applicable Minimum Wage
  • 9. 8 CBO Projected Shares of Low-Wage Workers, by Group, 2025 Group Percentage Who Are Low-Wage Workers Percentage of All Low-Wage Workers Age 16 to 19 94 10 20 or older 30 90 All 32 100 Sex Female 37 56 Male 27 44 All 32 100 Educational Attainment Less than high school 69 16 High school diploma or some college 44 71 Bachelor’s degree or more 11 13 All 32 100
  • 10. 9 CBO Projected Shares of Low-Wage Workers, by Group, 2025 (Continued) Group Percentage Who Are Low-Wage Workers Percentage of All Low-Wage Workers Hours Worked per Week Fewer than 35 62 44 35 or more 23 56 All 32 100 Family Income Below the poverty threshold 90 12 Between one and three times the poverty threshold 59 46 Three or more times the poverty threshold 19 42 All 31 100
  • 11. 10 CBO a. Low-wage workers are people who are projected, under current law, to be paid less than $19 per hour. Shares of Workers, by Family Income Group, 2025
  • 12. 11 CBO How the Employment of Affected Workers Responds to Changes in the Minimum Wage
  • 13. 12 CBO n.a. = not available. Employment Elasticities for All Directly Affected Workers, by Study Study Short-Run Elasticities Ratio of Long-Run to Short-Run Elasticities Cengiz and others (2019) 0.4 1.0 Cengiz (2019) 0.3 1.0 Derenoncourt and Montialoux (2018) 0.2 1.0 Bailey, DiNardo, and Stuart (2018) -0.1 2.0 Aaronson, French, and Sorkin (2018) -0.2 2.0 Neumark, Schweitzer, and Wascher (2004) -0.2 n.a. CBO’s Median Estimate -0.25 1.5 Gopalan and others (2018) -0.9 n.a. Monras (2019) -1.0 1.5 Meer and West (2015) -1.2 1.7 Jardim and others (May 2018) -1.7 n.a. Clemens and Wither (2016) -1.7 n.a.
  • 14. 13 CBO * = between −0.0005 and 0.0005. a. In CBO’s estimation, there is a two-thirds chance that the elasticity would be within this range. Employment Elasticities Estimated by CBO for 2025, by Age Group Adults Teenagers $15 Option $12 Option $10 Option $15 Option $12 Option $10 Option Employment Elasticities for All Workers in an Age Group With Respect to the Change in the Minimum Wage Median Estimate -0.004 -0.004 -0.003 -0.128 -0.111 -0.100 Likely Rangea Low end * * * * * * High end -0.013 -0.011 -0.010 -0.255 -0.222 -0.201 Employment Elasticities for Directly Affected Workers in an Age Group With Respect to the Change in Their Own Wage Median Estimate -0.269 -0.234 -0.212 -0.829 -0.721 -0.653 Likely Rangea Low end * * * * * * High end -0.806 -0.701 -0.635 -1.658 -1.442 -1.306
  • 15. 14 CBO * = between −0.05 million and 0.05 million. a. Median estimates are calculated using median values of likely ranges for wage growth and the responsiveness of employment to changes in wages. b. In CBO’s assessment, there is a two-thirds chance that the effect would be within this range. Effects of Increases in the Federal Minimum Wage on Employment, 2025 Option $15 $12 $10 Change in Employment in an Average Week (Millions of workers) Median estimatea -1.3 -0.3 * Likely rangeb Low end * * * High end -3.7 -0.8 -0.1
  • 16. 15 CBO * = between −0.05 million and 0.05 million. Effects of Increases in the Federal Minimum Wage on Employment, by Group, 2025 Option Group $15 $12 $10 Change in Employment in an Average Week (Millions of workers) All -1.3 -0.3 * Age 16 to 19 -0.6 -0.1 * 20 or older -0.7 -0.1 * Sex Female -0.8 -0.2 * Male -0.5 -0.1 * Educational Attainment Less than high school -0.5 -0.1 * High school diploma or some college -0.8 -0.1 * Bachelor’s degree or more -0.1 * * Hours Worked per Week Fewer than 35 -0.9 -0.2 * 35 or more -0.4 -0.1 *
  • 17. 16 CBO How Family Income Responds to Changes in the Minimum Wage
  • 18. 17 CBO a. Includes the effect of joblessness. Effects of Increases in the Federal Minimum Wage on Weekly Earnings, by Group, 2025 Option Group $15 $12 $10 Change in Weekly Earnings Among Directly Affected Workers (Percent)a All 11.8 9.0 5.4 Age 16 to 19 0.1 4.4 3.6 20 or older 13.6 10.3 6.3 Sex Female 12.3 9.0 5.4 Male 11.2 9.1 5.3 Educational Attainment Less than high school 9.2 7.3 4.4 High school diploma or some college 12.3 9.6 5.9 Bachelor’s degree or more 12.2 9.4 5.9 Hours Worked per Week Fewer than 35 11.8 8.8 5.1 35 or more 11.8 9.3 5.9
  • 19. 18 CBO a. Low-wage workers are people who are projected, under current law, to be paid less than $19 per hour in 2025. b. Values reflect changes in real (inflation-adjusted) income. Those changes include increases in earnings for workers who would receive a higher wage, decreases in earnings for workers who would become jobless, losses in income for business owners, and decreases in income because of increases in prices. Effects of Increases in the Federal Minimum Wage on Real Family Income, 2025
  • 20. 19 CBO * = between −0.05 percent and 0.05 percent; ** = between −0.05 billion and 0.05 billion. a. Directly affected workers are those whose hourly wage, in the absence of the change in the minimum wage, would range from just below the old minimum to the new, higher minimum. All of those workers would either be jobless or see increases in their earnings in an average week. b. Potentially affected workers are those whose hourly wages are above the proposed minimum wage—specifically, between the proposed minimum and that amount plus 50 percent of the increase in their applicable minimum wage. Only some of those workers would have increased earnings under the options. c. Calculated using before-tax family cash income. Effects of Increases in the Federal Minimum Wage on Income, 2025 Option $15 $12 $10 Number of Workers Who Could See Increases in Their Earnings in an Average Week (Millions) Directly affected workersa 17.0 5.0 1.5 Potentially affected workersb 10.3 6.4 1.9 Change in Real Annual Income Families with income below the poverty threshold Billions of 2018 dollars 7.7 2.3 0.4 Percentage 5.2 1.6 0.3 Families with income between one and three times the poverty threshold Billions of 2018 dollars 14.2 2.3 0.3 Percentage 3.5 0.6 *
  • 21. 20 CBO * = between −0.05 percent and 0.05 percent; ** = between −0.05 billion and 0.05 billion. a. Directly affected workers are those whose hourly wage, in the absence of the change in the minimum wage, would range from just below the old minimum to the new, higher minimum. All of those workers would either be jobless or see increases in their earnings in an average week. b. Potentially affected workers are those whose hourly wages are above the proposed minimum wage—specifically, between the proposed minimum and that amount plus 50 percent of the increase in their applicable minimum wage. Only some of those workers would have increased earnings under the options. c. Calculated using before-tax family cash income. Effects of Increases in the Federal Minimum Wage on Income, 2025 (Continued) Option $15 $12 $10 Families with income between three and six times the poverty threshold Billions of 2018 dollars -2.2 -0.3 ** Percentage -0.1 * * Families with income more than six times the poverty threshold Billions of 2018 dollars -28.4 -5.0 -0.6 Percentage -0.3 -0.1 * All families Billions of 2018 dollars -8.8 -0.7 ** Percentage -0.1 * *
  • 22. 21 CBO * = between −$50 and $50; ** = between −0.05 percent and 0.05 percent. Effects of Increases in the Federal Minimum Wage on Average Annual Real Family Income, 2025 Changein Average Annual Real Family Income Ratio of Family Income to the Poverty Threshold AverageRealFamily Income (2018Dollars) $15 Option $12 Option $10 Option Dollars Percent Dollars Percent Dollars Percent Less Than 1.0 10,700 600 5.3 200 1.4 * 0.2 1.0 to 1.49 28,900 600 1.9 100 0.4 * ** 1.5 to 1.99 39,200 500 1.2 100 0.2 * ** 2.0 to 2.99 55,700 300 0.6 100 0.1 * ** 3.0 to 5.99 95,300 * ** * ** * ** 6.0 or More 232,800 -700 -0.3 -100 -0.1 * **
  • 23. 22 CBO * = between −0.05 million and 0.05 million. Effects of Increases in the Federal Minimum Wage on the Number of People in Poverty, by Group, 2025 Option Group $15 $12 $10 All -1.3 -0.4 * Age 0 to 18 -0.6 -0.1 * 19 to 64 -0.7 -0.2 * 65 or older * * * Sex Female -0.7 -0.2 * Male -0.6 -0.2 * Educational Attainment Less than high school -0.8 -0.2 * High school diploma or some college -0.5 -0.2 * Bachelor’s degree or more -0.1 * * Hours Worked per Week Fewer than 35 -0.3 * * 35 or more -0.4 -0.2 * None (Children and nonworking adults) -0.7 -0.2 *
  • 24. 23 CBO Congressional Budget Office, How Increasing the Federal Minimum Wage Could Affect Employment and Family Income (November 2019), www.cbo.gov/publication/55681. Congressional Budget Office, The Effects on Employment and Family Income of Increasing the Federal Minimum Wage (July 2019), www.cbo.gov/publication/55410. Related Publications Interactive tool Report