Tags: federal | minimum | wage | adults

Half of Minimum Wage Workers Are Adults

Wednesday, 06 Mar 2013 01:43 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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About half of the 3.6 million Americans earning at or below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour are 25 years or older, with just a little more than one-third of them working more than full-time, according to a report Wednesday by NBC News.

President Barack Obama wants Congress to raise the minimum wage to $9 an hour, which liberals say will help struggling minimum wage workers pay their bills and afford the basic necessities. But conservative opponents of the proposal insist it will hurt the economy and the lower-income workers themselves by forcing employers to cut benefits or jobs so they can pay the higher wage to remaining workers.

Citing government research data, NBC reported that minimum wage workers are no longer just high-school kids flipping burgers to raise money to pay for school clothes or a used car. Three quarters of them, according to the research, have already graduated from high school, but end up in low-income, service-related jobs ranging from fast-food restaurants to child care services.

“Unfortunately, for far too many people, the ladder that they’re on doesn’t have a whole lot of rungs,” Doug Hall, director of the Economic Analysis and Research Network at the progressive Economic Policy Institute, told NBC.

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