Minimum Wage, Maximum Headache
Want to see a fast food manager turn into the Hulk? Ask them why they have so few employees right now and they’ll probably want to go all “Hulk smash.”
What’s causing the mutant-level fury? It’s what’s being called The Great Resignation. Some 4.8 million people up and quit their jobs last November, and they didn’t come back, leaving managers across the US in a lurch for workers!
Since most of those jobs that are going unfilled are in fast food and service, many have suggested that raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour would fix the problem. But is it that simple?
Here’s Five Fast Facts on minimum wage in our current economy:
- ⏰📉Minimum wage has never been minimum this long - Right now, 32% of Americans are making minimum wage. It’s been 12 years since the last minimum wage increase… which is longer than it’s ever taken to increase the minimum wage.
- 📈💰More productive = less pay? - Workers are getting way more done and making their bosses way more money <cha-ching>… and yet worker’s Paychecks have not kept up with that increase in productivity, let alone inflation. If the minimum wage had kept pace with productivity, then it would be $26 an hour, not $7.25.
- 💵🚗 Smart Paychecks are taking back control - More than a third of Americans have already jumped into the “gig economy.” We’re talking about car-based gig work like DoorDash and Uber. These two companies alone have 9.2 million workers. Some say it’s because workers prefer working as flexible independent contractors rather than working as minimum-wage employees.
- 💣💥Going to a $15 minimum wage isn’t so simple - Immediately raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour would increase the federal deficit, our taxes, and possibly the cost of things like groceries.
- 🤝❗ Maybe there’s a solution? - Lawmakers have suggested gradually increasing the minimum wage to $15 by June 2025. Many big companies that have been raising their wages are seeing record profits because less workers are quitting once they get that pay raise. Less employee turnover = more profits, simple as.
🔥Bottom line: There’s no easy way out of this. We basically have to choose between cost of living increases or tax increases. But one thing is clear: what we have right now isn’t sustainable for workers who need more money or for businesses who need workers.
What do you think about the battle over the minimum wage? Let us know by connecting with us on Social Media and be sure to share this newsletter with friends and coworkers!
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