Michael Reich
Jennifer Romich ◽  
Mark Long ◽  
Scott Allard ◽  
Anne Althauser

This paper describes a uniquely comprehensive database constructed from merged state administrative data.  State Unemployment Insurance (UI) systems provide an important source of data for understanding employment effects of policy interventions but have also lack several key types of information: personal demographics, non-earnings income, and household associations.  With UI data, researchers can show overall earnings or employment trends or policy impacts, but cannot distinguish whether these trends or impacts differ by race or gender, how they affect families and children, or whether total income or other measure of well-being change. This paper describes a uniquely comprehensive new administrative dataset, the Washington Merged Longitudinal Administrative Database (WMLAD), created by University of Washington researchers to examine distributional and household economic effects of the Seattle $15 minimum wage ordinance, an intervention that more than doubled the federal minimum wage.  WMLAD augments UI data with state administrative voter, licensing, social service, income transfer, and vital statistics records. The union set of all individuals who appear in any of these agency datasets will provide a near-census of state residents and will augment UI records with information on age, sex, race/ethnicity, public assistance receipt, and household membership. In this paper, we describe 1.) our relationship with the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services that permits this data access and allows construction of this dataset using restricted personal identifiers; 2.) the merging and construction process, including imputing race and ethnicity and constructing quasi-households from address co-location; and 3.) planned benchmarking and analysis work.

2021 ◽  
pp. 41-43
Kshama Mumbai

“The Lawrence Textile Strike, also known as the Bread and Roses Strike”, prompted the first minimum wage law in the United States in 1912. Various states followed suit over the next two decades, and in 1938, at the height of the Great Depression, Congress passed the Fair Labor Standards Act, which created a federal minimum wage (FLSA).The basic incentive behind the introduction of the Act was to reduce income inequality.A rise in minimum wage acts as a form of relocation of wealth from higher-income people to lower-income people. In principle, Congress amends the FLSA on a regular basis to raise the federal minimum wage to levels necessary for even the lowest-paying workforces in the economy.It also aims to help low-wage workers benefit from overall economywide advances in living standards. However, this has historically not always been the case. In 1968, The Poor People’s 1 Campaign started because of not raising the minimum wage to sufficient levels . The explicit purpose of the federal minimum wage is to help increase consumer purchasing power which stimulates the economy and to keep America's workforces out of poverty.However,the law failed to include the automatic cost of living adjustments and led to inflation eroding the real value of the minimum wage over time. There is a dire need for legislative action to raise the nation’s wage floor, more so than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic.Unless consumer's purchasing power is increased,it will be difficult to come out of this recession.Further,the minimum wage is a direct concern for poverty levels and gender / racial inequality.This paper aims to analyze previous work on the issue and provide further recommendations for the same.

10.3386/w0812 ◽  
1981 ◽  
John Boschen ◽  
Herschel Grossman

Daniel P. Gitterman

This chapter highlights two policies that supplement the earnings of low-wage workers: the federal minimum wage and the earned income tax credit (EITC). The need for earnings supplements arises in part from the nature of the jobs held by less-skilled, low-wage workers. Such jobs are likely to be compensated on an hourly basis, not salaried, and are less likely to be full time. A focus on the minimum wage and the EITC contributes to—and expands our understanding of—the American welfare state in two ways. First, it looks beyond social insurance and public assistance, which have been considered the main tools of social policy, to explore the importance of alternative antipoverty policies. Second, it moves beyond income support to nonworkers to focus on efforts to support individuals who areactivein the labor market.

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