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Welfare Reform on the Web (May 2000): Minimum Wage - Overseas

RECENT MINIMUM WAGE INCREASES AND THE MINIMUM WAGE LABOR FORCE

J. A. Mills, K. Roy, and N. Williams

Journal of Labor Research, vol.20, 1999, p.479-492

Article assesses the impact of increases in the US federal minimum wage in 1996 and 1997 on employment. Investigates the employment distributional consequences of these increases on food service occupations using the technique of Lang and Kahn. Using the estimates of Williams and Mills, authors demonstrate that the minimum wage hikes substantially decreased employment for both sexes.

UPDATED ESTIMATES OF THE WAGE MOBILITY OF MINIMUM WAGE WORKERS

J. E. Long

Journal of Labor Research, vol.20, 1999, p.493-503

Analysis of earnings mobility among persons employed in minimum wage jobs in the US 1991-1995 shows that only 30% of such workers do not advance in pay within one year, and two years later only 20% have failed to register a wage increase. Results suggest that minimum wage jobs are most likely to constitute "dead-end" positions for workers without a high school diploma and elderly individuals. Women appear to be less likely than men to advance above the minimum wage entry pay level. Finally, both the incidence and magnitude of wage increases on minimum wage jobs are reduced by Hispanic origin and Southern location.

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