• Most minimum wage workers are adults. Less than one in five is under the age of 20 and more than half are between the ages of 25 and 54.
• A full-time worker making the minimum wage earns $10,300, putting her below the poverty line for a one-parent, one-child family. Health care, of course, is but a dream.
• Many workers get stuck at minimum wage, meaning that, three years after they began, they'd netted neither a promotion nor a raise. Mobility is better for men, native citizens, those who change jobs (indicating mobility and skills), and union members.
• The minimum wage itself hasn't increased since 1997. Thanks to that, inflation has made the already-paltry $5.15 an hour worth about 1/6th less in real terms than when it was instituted.
• Minimum wage workers earn an average of 68% of their total family income. This isn't a bunch of kids supporting themselves, either. 87% are over the age of 20.
• Young workers who enter minimum wage jobs out of school generally escape the pay bracket within a few years. After 10 years, only 12.2% are still earning the minimum wage plus a $1.00. Indeed, 63% beat the minimum wage within a year. The problem, rather, is older workers who reenter the labor market at the minimum wage and find themselves stuck.
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