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Carsey Report Shows Impact of Minimum Wage Hike

January 24, 2007

A new report from the Carsey Institute reveals the impact raising the minimum wage would have in rural areas. Key is the finding that rural, low-income, or low-wage, workers would benefit as much, if not more, than big-city workers.

On Jan. 10, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill that would increase minimum pay from $5.15 an hour to $7.25. The full Senate is expected to act on the measure soon.

As the House debate showed, U.S. policy-makers tend to think of the minimum wage as applying mainly to unskilled young people who work in the fast-food industry in impoverished urban neighborhoods. But Carsey's findings tell a different story.

"Members of Congress need to understand the important impact an increase in the minimum wage will have on all of their constituents, including those in rural areas" says Mil Duncan, director of the Carsey Institute. "The minimum wage is not just a big city issue. A higher percentage of rural workers will benefit from the proposed $7.25 minimum wage."

"There are nearly two million low-wage workers in rural America who would benefits from an increase in the minimum wage and more than half of them have children under age 18 in the household," William O'Hare, senior fellow at the Carsey Institute said.

To read the full report go to http://www.carseyinstitute.unh.edu/documents/MinimumWage_final.pdf

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