How A Minimum Wage Increase Could Help The Economy, Even In A Pandemic

In the first of a two-part segment, Texas Standard looks at the benefits of a federal minimum wage increase.

By Kristen CabreraJanuary 26, 2021 2:55 pm

It’s been almost a dozen years since the federal government increased the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour. But it could soon go up again. President Biden has proposed a $15 federal minimum wage, which he could achieve with Democrats in control of the House and Senate

Though the benefits of an increased federal minimum wage is still debated among economists, David Cooper of the Economic Policy Institute says there’s growing opinion that it would help the economy overall. He says more research has been published showing positive effects, including greater resiliency among small businesses that pay a higher wage.

But a lot of the evidence is also anecdotal – from states and cities where the minimum wage has already been raised.

“So we have a lot more real-world experience of places enacting high minimum wages and not seeing the sky fall. And I think that’s given people a lot more, a better sense of comfort, that this is a policy that’s going to do what we want it to do,” Cooper told Texas Standard.

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– What the ripple affects could be of a minimum wage increase

– Why the concept of supply and demand may not be relevant when deciding the minimum wage

– How the pandemic has affected research about wage increases

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