Minimum Wage Goes Up In Ten States, But It May Be Bad News For Black Workers

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January 8, 2013 ‐ By Ann Brown
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Some people will find a fatter paycheck for 2013. At the start of the year, 10 states raised their minimum wage: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. The states raised wages between 10 and 35 cents, which will result in an extra $190 to $510 per year into the pocket of the average minimum-wage worker, according to Reuters.

A recent National Employment Law Project study found that the wage increase for the ten states will affect pay for 995,000 American workers.  African-Americans make up about 15.1 percent of the 73.9 million minimum-wage earners in the U.S., reports The Grio.

But according to some, the minimum wage increase may not be good news for African Americans. Past data has shown that with minimum wages increases, employment drops, reports The Grio in a separate story. And African Americans have a higher unemployment rate than others.

A research study by David Neumark of the Employment Policies Institute, found that even “a 10 percent increase in the minimum wage will decrease minority employment by 3.9 percent, with the majority of the burden falling on minority teenagers by 6.6 percent,” the story says. The study also found that for “every 10 percent increase in the minimum wage, African-American or Hispanic males aged 16 to 24 and 20 to 24 experienced a decrease in employment by 6.3 percent and 5.5 percent respectively.”

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