Job growth has been the bleakest aspect of the seemingly never-ending Great Recession. It is not even keeping up with population growth, and more and more Americans are dropping out of the labor force (only 63% of all adult Americans now hold a job).
Artificial efforts to stimulate the economy aren’t helping. The latest dumb idea is to interfere with the labor markets and raise the minimum wage to $9, as California just did (the highest in the nation). The minimum wage will go up in two separate $1 increments. The first will bump the rate from $8 to $9 in July 2014, and the second increase, to $10, will come in January 2016. According to the Economic Policy Institute, about 3 million Californians are currently working for the minimum wage.
Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) disputed the idea that the minimum wage increase would put a drag on the economy. He stated, “A $10 hour minimum wage boosts earnings by $4,000 a year and will put $2.6 billion dollars back into the hands of workers,” he said. “This is money that will be spent at grocery stores, on school supplies and invested in education, and that ultimately strengthens the recovery and ensures California’s job market continues growing faster than the rest of the nation.”
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