Minimum Wage: Who Benefits?

The average family income of United States employees who would ‘benefit’ from the new $7.25 minimum wage is over $47,023. The 70 cent bump that goes into effect on July 24, 2009, is the third step in a 41% increase in the starting wage.

According to U.S. Census Bureau data, fully 84% of employees in United States whose wages would be increased by the proposed minimum wage hike either live with their parents or another relative, live alone, or have a working spouse. Just 16% are sole earners in families with children, and each of these sole earners has access to supplemental income through the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Today’s minimum wage is being increased because of legislation passed in 2007, when unemployment was still under 5 percent and the economy was stronger. This new wage will make it difficult for the most vulnerable employees in the workplace to compete with higher skilled applicants.

pie-chart-2009

Breakdown by State

Living with Parent or Relative Dual Earner in Married Couple With or Without Kids Single or Married (Single Earner) With No Kids Subtotal Single Earner with Kids Average Family Income
Alabama 43 % 17 % 27 % 88 % 12 % $ 43,098
Alaska 58 % 13 % 29 % 100 % 0 % $ 55,583
Arizona
Arkansas 25 % 28 % 32 % 85 % 15 % $ 33,486
California
Colorado
Connecticut
DC
Delaware 42 % 8 % 39 % 89 % 11 % $ 44,797
Florida 28 % 21 % 36 % 85 % 15 % $ 42,622
Georgia 33 % 22 % 23 % 77 % 23 % $ 48,723
Hawaii
Idaho 39 % 27 % 24 % 89 % 11 % $ 54,994
Illinois
Indiana 47 % 14 % 22 % 83 % 17 % $ 51,785
Iowa
Kansas 45 % 24 % 23 % 92 % 8 % $ 60,494
Kentucky 37 % 15 % 23 % 76 % 24 % $ 34,918
Louisiana 37 % 14 % 26 % 77 % 23 % $ 45,130
Maine
Maryland 58 % 11 % 19 % 87 % 13 % $ 67,728
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota 47 % 15 % 29 % 91 % 9 % $ 62,588
Mississippi 31 % 25 % 20 % 76 % 24 % $ 44,234
Missouri 47 % 17 % 25 % 89 % 11 % $ 49,236
Montana 38 % 17 % 39 % 94 % 6 % $ 38,051
Nebraska 53 % 16 % 19 % 87 % 13 % $ 57,985
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey 44 % 18 % 14 % 76 % 24 % $ 74,223
New Mexico
New York 35 % 18 % 26 % 79 % 21 % $ 38,780
North Carolina 40 % 13 % 29 % 83 % 17 % $ 43,114
North Dakota 33 % 25 % 29 % 86 % 14 % $ 46,696
Ohio
Oklahoma 30 % 29 % 29 % 88 % 12 % $ 40,870
Oregon
Pennsylvania 53 % 13 % 24 % 90 % 10 % $ 45,037
Rhode Island
South Carolina 48 % 9 % 32 % 89 % 11 % $ 43,508
South Dakota 55 % 10 % 28 % 93 % 732 % $ 50,159
Tennessee 32 % 19 % 31 % 82 % 18 % $ 44,957
Texas 32 % 21 % 27 % 80 % 20 % $ 40,288
United States 39 % 19 % 26 % 84 % 16 % $ 47,023
Utah 60 % 25 % 12 % 97 % 300 % $ 67,183
Vermont
Virginia 44 % 21 % 20 % 84 % 16 % $ 71,070
Washington
West Virginia 34 % 25 % 21 % 79 % 21 % $ 36,272
Wisconsin 56 % 14 % 20 % 91 % 9 % $ 63,293
Wyoming 44 % 25 % 21 % 90 % 10 % $ 55,040