From the former Maryland news:

Raising the wage will provide economic stimulus effect and create jobs

ANNAPOLIS – Raising Maryland’s minimum wage will benefit 455,000 workers, inject $456 million into the economy and create 1,600 new jobs, says a new report from the non-partisan Economic Policy Institute. Using the Raise Maryland legislative proposal to raise the wage as a basis, the report says that the additional spending generated by an increase in the minimum wage will “provide a modest, but meaningful boost to Maryland’s economy.”

The report, “Raising The Maryland Minimum Wage Will Benefit Nearly Half A Million Workers And Modestly Boost The State’s Economy,” is an update of earlier research done last year to demonstrate that an increase to the minimum wage will benefit Maryland workers, businesses and communities.

Governor Martin O’Malley has introduced legislation in the Maryland General Assembly to raise the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 by 2016 and index it to the cost of living so it doesn’t lose value over time. The measure also includes a raise for tipped workers, increasing their pay from 50 to 70 percent of the minimum wage.

“Raising Maryland’s minimum wage would put much-needed money in the pockets of low-income workers who are likely to spend that additional income right away,” said David Cooper, economic analyst at the Economic Policy Institute. “Given current economic conditions, where tepid consumer demand is holding back employment growth, this additional consumer spending would provide a modest, but meaningful boost to Maryland’s economy.”

The report also contains interesting demographic data on who earns the minimum wage in Maryland:

  • Contrary to popular belief, minimum wage workers are not teenage part-time workers: rather, the vast majority are at least 20 years old, over half work full time, and many are struggling to support their families.
  • In Maryland, women are 57.9 percent of those affected, despite being only 50.6 percent of the state workforce.
  • The racial make-up of the state’s minimum wage workers is 42.5 percent white non-Hispanic workers, 33.4 percent are black, 16.5 percent are Hispanic and 7.7 percent are Asian or of another race/ethnicity.
  • The average age of affected workers is 33 years old. Teenagers comprise only 13 percent of the workers who would see a raise.
  • About half (48.6 percent) of affected workers have at least some college education, and more than half (56.0 percent) work full time.
  • Nearly a quarter (23.2 percent) of affected workers are parents. In fact, there are roughly 210,000 Maryland children with at least one parent that would get a raise.
  • More than half (54.6 percent) of the workers who would get a raise come from families with total family incomes of $60,000 or less. On average, affected workers earn about 39 percent of their family’s total income.

 

“This research update shows that raising the state’s minimum wage is the right thing to do for workers, businesses and our communities,” said Ricarra Jones, chair of the Raise Maryland coalition. “It is time for the legislature to act to raise wages, standards and our working families.”

Since launching at the beginning of last year’s legislative session, Raise Maryland has educated Marylanders about why a raise in the minimum wage is good for workers, businesses, the state’s economy and businesses. The campaign has knocked on more than 40,000 doors, gathered 18,000 petition signatures, more than 5,500 letters and engaged Marylanders to join in a wave of support for a higher wage. Raise Maryland has also garnered support from more than 140 businesses across the state as well as from nearly 70 community, political, social action, labor and faith groups.

The full report is available here: http://www.epi.org/blog/raising-maryland-minimum-wage-benefit-million/