Minimum Wage Increase Would Have Greater Impact on Food System Than on Overall Economy

I ncreasing the minimum wage would affect the food system more than the overall economy. The food system provides a large number of jobs, particularly entrylevel jobs for workers with few skills or experience. Because of this large share of low-wage, low-skill jobs, an increase in the minimum wage would disproportionately affect the employers and workers in the food system. The minimum wage is currently $5.15 an hour. A proposal to increase it to $6.15 failed in the Senate in 1998, but demands to increase it still remain. This article examines which workers would be affected by a minimum wage increase while the next article examines how the increase would affect prices of food away from home. In order to understand how a minimum wage increase would affect the food system, we must first know about the food system workers and their jobs. Here a demographic profile of all food system workers and the characteristics of food system jobs are presented. Understanding the demographics and jobs characteristics provide insight into how the minimum wage will affect employment and income among food system workers. Next, a look at the demographics and job characteristics of those workers who would be directly affected by a minimum wage increase is presented.

Issue Date:
Jan 01 1999
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Record Identifier:
Published in:
Food Review: The Magazine of Food Economics, Volume 22, Issue 1
Page range:

 Record created 2017-12-19, last modified 2018-01-22

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