The Public Health Law Research program has mapped the wage laws since 1980 to provide insights into the effects of higher wages on factors like housing, education and health and well-being. Despite this data, we see little or no consensus among those who would predict the outcome of an increase in minimum wage. It is a topic which always results in acrimonious debate, with one side making predictions about increased prices, lowered hiring, business relocation away from cities, and a damaged economy; while the other predicts improved employee experience and a stronger economy.
IKEA, the furniture retailer, has declared that their base rate for wage will be dynamically linked to the Living Wage Calculator provided by MIT for all their locations in America, making base pay variable by location – but as IKEA pays $9.20 on average as of today, this is good news for workers in some locations who could potentially earn $13 per hour. IKEA explained this move as a strategic initiative to give them competitive advantage as an employer, attract better talent, reduce recruitment and training costs, and encourage better retention. A similar increase by other companies is said to have witnessed a 10% increase in job applications.
This is a great deal of discussion on both sides of this issue:
In other words, 55% are happy with income less than $70000, while 80% are happy with incomes less than $100,000.
Those opposed to increasing the minimum wage offer these arguments:
All but the five states of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee have enacted laws increasing State-level minimum wage limits, and some cities have also chosen to increase them at their level. Will a voluntary agreement to increase the minimum wages translate to better employee loyalty, better brand image and higher productivity?
Is a living wage an economic imperative and a moral obligation; or a misdirected move with negative repercussions on the economy? Only time can tell!
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