Jobs and the Minimum Wage
Economists have studied the job-destroying features of a higher minimum wage. Estimates of the job losses of raisingthe minimum wage from $4.25 to $5.15 have ranged from 625,000 to 100,000 lost jobs. It is important to recognize that the jobs lost are mainly entry-level jobs. By destroying entry-level jobs, a higher minimum wage harms the lifetime earnings prospects of low-skilled workers.
Click here to see Figure 1.
Proponents have been able to muddle the debate by pointing to a study done by twoPrinceton economists, David Card and Alan Krueger. These economists claimed to find that raising the minimum wage does not lower employment.  In one paper, they succeeded in casting doubt on 200 years of economic research and theory. Economists took their challenge seriously and attempted to recreate their results. It could not be done. Economists who attempted to replicate their work demonstratedconclusively that raising the minimum wage destroys jobs. 
Even after the Card and Krueger study was fully discredited by economic science, it is still being used by proponents of higher minimum wages to support an increase. Why must they rely on discredited research to support their call for raising the minimum wage? Because they recognize that Americans do not support proposals thatdestroy jobs. Proponents often like to show survey results that say more than eighty percent of Americans support a higher minimum wage. Yet, the same survey shows less than half surveyed, 46 percent, support raising the minimum wage if it "might reduce the number of jobs available for workers with limited skills." Clearly, if Americans were informed of the true effects of raising the minimumwage, support would rapidly erode.
Minimum Wage Workers
Supporters claim that raising the minimum wage is important for working families. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich often repeats the fact that forty percent of minimum wage workers are the sole source of income for their families. This is misleading because it relies on lumping single, non-family individuals with families. Only 2.8percent of workers earning less than $5.15 are single parents.  Only 1.2 percent of all minimum wage workers were adult heads of households with incomes less than $10,000.  Fifty-seven percent of minimum wage workers are single individuals, many of them living with their parents.
Click here to see Figure 2.
Minimum wage workers are not parents struggling to feed their children. Rather,they are high school or college students living at home. The level of the minimum wage is irrelevant for most people in poverty. Only 9.2 percent of poor people of working age have full-time jobs. 
Click here to see Figure 3.
Side Effects of Raising the Minimum Wage
It has been well documented that the minimum wage destroys jobs, particularly the jobs of low-skilled, young workers.However, there are other equally pernicious side effects of higher minimum wages. Higher minimum wages make it more difficult for people to leave welfare and induce high-school students to drop out.
Dr. Peter Brandon of the Institute for Research on Poverty studied how raising the minimum wage affect the transition from welfare to work.  He found that raising it keeps welfare mothers on...