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from The Federalist, 11 Facts About The Minimum Wage That President Obama Forgot To Mention

3) Most Minimum Wage Workers Are Under The Age Of 25
According to federal data, over 55 percent of all federal minimum wage workers are under the age of 25. Unsurprisingly, young workers are also the most likely to be unemployed. As of last month, the unemployment rate for 16-to-19-year-olds was 20.2 percent, and the unemployment rate for 20-to-24-year-olds was 11.1 percent. The overall U.S. unemployment rate currently sits at 6.7 percent.

4) A Majority Of Those Who Earn The Minimum Wage Work In Food Preparation Or Sales
In addition to classifying minimum wage workers by age, BLS also categorizes them according to their industry and occupation. Data for 2012 indicate that most minimum wage workers work in “food preparation and serving related occupations” (26.1 percent of all minimum wage workers) or in “sales and related occupations” (25.5 percent of all minimum wage workers), an occupation that often pays commissions and bonuses in addition to fixed hourly rates.

Further on the subject from Jeffrey Dorfman at Forbes, Almost Everything You Have Been Told About The Minimum Wage Is False:

First, people should acknowledge that this rather heated policy discussion is over a very small group of people. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there are about 3.6 million workers at or below the minimum wage (you can be below legally under certain conditions). That is 2.5 percent of all workers and 1.5 percent of the population of potential workers. Within that small group, 31 percent are teenagers and 55 percent are 25 years old or younger. That leaves only about 1.1 percent of all workers over 25 and 0.8 percent of all Americans over 25 earning the minimum wage.

Within that tiny group, most of these workers are not poor and are not trying to support a family on only their earnings. In fact, according to a recent study, 63 percent of workers who earn less than $9.50 per hour (well over the minimum wage of $7.25) are the second or third earner in their family and 43 percent of these workers live in households that earn over $50,000 per year. Thus, minimum wage earners are not a uniformly poor and struggling group; many are teenagers from middle class families and many more are sharing the burden of providing for their families, not carrying the load all by themselves.

This group of workers is also shrinking. In 1980, 15 percent of hourly workers earned the minimum wage. Today that share is down to only 4.7 percent. Further, almost two-thirds of today’s minimum wage workers are in the service industry and nearly half work in food service. Because this is where the minimum wage workers are, that is what we will focus on for the rest of this column.


Demagoguing the minimum wage sounds good and plays well to liberal posers, but does very little for very few people, and the people who benefit are at least offset by those who suffer.So why does the president push it?  I would guess that it is good political theater and helps him to paint his GOP opposition as opposing the working class, a dog eared chapter from the liberal playbook, cheering actions without results, and content to preach without actually helping anyone.

And it could be a bone thrown to his strongest crony constituency, the unions:

from Richard Berman at the Wall Street Journal, Why Unions Want a Higher Minimum Wage-Labor contracts are often tied to the law—and it reduces the competition for lower-paying jobs.

The Labor Department’s collective-bargaining agreements file has a limited number of contracts available, so we were unable to determine how widespread the practice is. But the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union says that pegging its wages to the federal minimum is commonplace. On its website, the UFCW notes that “oftentimes, union contracts are triggered to implement wage hikes in the case of minimum wage increases.” Such increases, the UFCW says, are “one of the many advantages of being a union member.”

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