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[Excerpt] In 1994 there were 4.1 million hourly workers who were paid the minimum wage or less which represents 6.2 percent of all workers paid on an hourly basis. These estimates are conservative as this total does not include all the salaried workers with trumped up titles such as “assistant manager” or “management trainee” who, because of long hours, are often paid at the minimum wage rate or less. Individuals who are employed at the minimum wage can be characterized by their strong work ethic as they work even though their low wage jobs do not provide enough earnings or income for a decent standard of living. Adopting a higher minimum wage is the most straight forward “program” to help the “working poor.” An increase in the minimum wage is good policy, is beneficial to the economy and it is supported by the vast majority of Americans.


Suggested Citation
Gold, I. (1995). Restore the floor: It’s time to raise the minimum wage(AFL-CIO Reviews the Issues, Report No. 86). Retrieved [insert date] from Cornell University, ILR School site:

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Copyright by the AFL-CIO. Document posted with special permission by the copyright holder.