$ 15 minimum wage started as a slogan. This week is decided to move to Parliament.
This House of Representatives will vote on the Wage Raising Act, which will make $ 15 per hour a reality for almost all US workers by 2024, compared to the current national minimum wage of $ 7.25 per hour. This is expected to happen.
"She created this snowball," said Mary Kay Henry, President of the International Union of Service Employees, who helped organize the "Fight for $ 15" movement behind the scenes. "And then employers started to raise their salaries – all those people we did not expect." It was natural to think about why not try to do it at federal level? The other reason for wage increases nationwide has become important: blue cities in red states that set minimum local wages, such as Birmingham and St. Louis, were overthrown by their conservative lawmakers. Other cities in places like Texas and Virginia have never tried because their state laws have already outgrew local action to act alone.
Here are the places where the minimum wage of $ 1
5 can make the biggest difference in people's lives because so many workers are currently doing less than that. For the same reason, they are also the places that are at greatest risk of losing jobs, as businesses will have to spend more to meet their obligations.
Will it cost a job and does it matter? The struggle for the effects of raising the minimum wage dates back to the 1990s when economists Alan Krueger and David Map published an innovative work questioning the canonical understanding that artificial wages are killing jobs. The latest research, which now has a large number of increases in the minimum wage, does not usually find a job loss after raising the minimum wage and that they can actually create more jobs by introducing people into the workforce.
But most of these increases are in the relatively hot labor markets, where – at least in the last few years – employers have no choice but to let them remain fully staffed, even if it means rising prices. This may be a different story in places with weaker local economies, where businesses work at thinner margins and have little room for charging.
The debate reached its apogee last week when the non-partisan Budget Office of Congress published a study that takes into account most of the latest research and design of the effects of the Wage Enforcement Act. (Legislation also indexes the minimum wage with inflation after 2024 and gradually removes the credit that allows employers to pay less than $ 2.13 per hour if employees offset the difference in councils.)
The verdict: by 2025 the legislation will raise the salaries of 27 million people and result in 1.3 million fewer jobs, or 0.8% of total employment. They came to this conclusion by averaging the numbers that represent what other studies have identified as "employment elasticity" – the sensitivity of jobs to changes in the minimum wage.
The CBO strongly underlined the uncertainty surrounding these assessments, but both parties immediately took advantage of parts of the report as evidence in support of their positions while some criticized its methodology.
Arindrajit Dube, professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, said CBO made a mistake in equally weighing some of the older papers. He is among a group of authors who are publishing a study in the prestigious Journal of Economics, which finds that elasticity is actually positive, and believes the CBO report overestimates how many jobs will be lost.
"What we had to do is coordinate a lot of the literature from the past," says Dube, who provided information on CBO on an earlier project. "We specifically show what the problems with some of these documents are, and what I see is specific choices that I do not think are justified, which obviously affects the end result."
Others saw the CBO study as an effective synthesis of complex literature and the reason for reducing the bill to something more modest. Daniel Hammerich, an eminent college graduate economist, Barnard, who also published articles on minimum wages and reviewed the CBO report, called it "extremely good and extremely just." Due to the employment effect of the $ 15 option, it favors $ 12, which is expected to have only a slight impact.
"This is closer to religion than anything else," Hamerimis said on both sides of the debate on the minimum wage.
Side-by-side methods claim that it is important to focus on the overall impact of welfare by raising minimum wages, as well as on possible government responses to help anyone who can end without work because of that. David Howell, a professor of economics and public policy at the New School, says wage increases significantly for those at the bottom of income distribution are more important than just keeping low-paid employment.
Half of the estimated 1.3 million jobs lost are those held by teenagers, he says, many of whom could be hired through job-based training programs that would provide a better career career time. Given the great demand in America for workers in areas such as nursing and construction, everyone else can be re-qualified for more paid work.
"The American problem is not the amount of jobs," Howell said. "This is the quality of jobs."
After two months of inter-party lobbying, the democratic parliament seems to have come to support the bill. Members of the moderate New Democratic Coalition have been relieved by the addition of an amendment that will require a study of the effects of the bill in a few years, leaving room for corrections if more jobs are lost than expected.
The bill now has 203 co-sponsors and the director of state labor right. Judy Conti says he is "very confident" that the votes are there to convey him. Even the representative Terry Sueel, who was trying to get support for an alternative bill that would adjust the minimum wage to local economic conditions, now says he will vote for the Wage Raise Act.
But no Republicans have expressed their support. Minority leadership at the Home Education and Labor Committee has sent a press release criticizing the "radical and unprecedented mandate of the Democrats" and that "a lost job is too much." Larry Kudlow, White House Economic Affairs Advisor, recently said he does not think the minimum wage is a good idea at all, which raises doubts that Trump will sign it. And although the powerful US Chamber of Commerce has said it is willing to meet in the middle of some higher minimum wages, $ 15 is off.
"If Parliament continues and passes $ 15, it is a dead letter, it will not reach the Senate, and any moment of compromise that can be accepted in the law is dying," said Neil Bradley, Chief Policy Officer of the House.
Bradley sent a letter to all members of the House last week, outlining his readiness to support a number in a two-digit range. But he also called for changes in labor law to help businesses absorb increased costs, such as ignoring e-mails after working time for overtime, and allowing employers to check their own payroll rather than to do so by the Ministry of Labor.
According to the accusation that companies should now be able to make higher salaries, given the enormous reduction in corporate tax they received in 2017, Bradley replies, "We do not believe the government has any income claims to everyone and get him back when he finds it necessary. "
There may be room for compromise on the part of Parliament to get something through the Senate of this session.
"If they have an interest in talking, we will obviously talk," said Representative Bobby Scott, who, as chair of the Committee on Education and Labor, put the bill forward. But he is reticent about how ready he is to go. "I will not say I will accept this or that."
Even Not Passing nothing before the 2020 elections, the union that pushed $ 15 at the national stage saw the debate as a way to boost voter support. The goal is to elect a democratic congress that should not compromise at all – or to persuade Republicans to change their minds.
"We want to use the Wage Enforcement Act, which will be in the Senate, as a way to inject it into republican dominated countries and districts," said Henry of SEIU. "The struggle we want to have is to convince them that the political price they would pay for voting against it is not worth it."