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Minimum Wage & the Labor Force

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Essay title: Minimum Wage & the Labor Force

Micro Economics

Minimum wage

Minimum Wage & the Labor Force

The federal rate for minimum wage was last raised in 1997 to $5.15. The purpose of the minimum wage rate is to enable low-wage workers to meet basic needs for survival of self and family. With the cost of living rapidly rising many find it increasing difficult to meet even the most basic of needs. The price of gasoline, natural gas for heating, real estate, and just about everything else in America is rising, yet the federal government has not raised the minimum wage for 9 years. With the number single parent families continuing to grow families are needing to downsize now more than ever. The current federal rate of minimum wage at $5.15 is not sufficient for survival of self or family.

As of 2004, 13 states had minimum wages above the federal level, Washington being the highest at $7.16 with the wage adjusted annually for inflation. Alaska, in recognition of its high cost of living, for decades has set its minimum wage to be 50 cents above the federal rate. In 2002, the Alaskan legislature passed a minimum wage increase, raising the wage to $7.15 in 2003. Some of the strongest job growth in the country over the last few years has been seen in Alaska. Alaskans have also experienced a smaller increase in joblessness than 33 of the 50 states.

The opposition of state minimum wage increases claim that raises cause more harm than

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