$15 Minimum Wage Would Help Two Million Ohioans
A bill being introduced in the Ohio legislature to raise the
state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2023 would raise
wages for about 2 million Ohio workers, according to a
report released today by Policy Matters Ohio (https://t.e2ma.net/click/z9jb4h/bvwsuvc/jhnutjc).
They include 1.6 million workers now earning less than the
current value of the wage, and 450,000 workers who already
earn a little more, but would likely see a boost as
employers adjust pay rates to hire and retain skilled
The federal minimum wage
peaked in 1968 and would be worth $11.83 today if it had
kept place with inflation. Ohio’s current minimum wage,
$8.55 an hour, is worth 28 percent less than the 1968 level.
The state economy has grown by 88 percent since then. Ohio
voters responded in 2006 by raising the minimum wage and
setting an inflation index to prevent further losses. The
current proposal would recover the rest of the lost ground
and enable Ohio’s low-wage workers to share in the wealth
the state has achieved since then.
The bill, sponsored by
Representatives Kelly, Weinstein, Adam Miller, Joe Miller
Lepore-Hagan, Russo, Boyd, Miranda, Kent Smith, Kent,
Ingram, Sweeney, and Boggs is currently under review by the
Legislative Services Commission.
The policy would benefit a
broad cross-section of Ohio workers. Most are adults who
have already graduated from school. It would improve equity
by raising wages for 42 percent of working women and 54
percent of black workers. Ohio women earn just 82 cents on
the dollar compared to men, and wages for black workers have
fallen by $3 per hour since 1979.
Recent research has shown
that increases in the minimum wage have not resulted in
substantial job losses (https://t.e2ma.net/click/z9jb4h/bvwsuvc/z9nutjc)
or consumer price increases (https://t.e2ma.net/click/z9jb4h/bvwsuvc/f2outjc).
A Policy Matters case study found that when the Greater
Cleveland Food Bank raised its minimum wage by 21.7 percent,
its operating costs (https://t.e2ma.net/click/z9jb4h/bvwsuvc/vuputjc)
rose just 0.5 percent.
“Low-wage workers are
creating wealth for their employers and the economy,” said
Michael Shields, Policy Matters Ohio researcher and the
report’s author. “But today’s policy landscape makes it
harder for them to bargain for their share. Passing a living
minimum wage is a critical step to enable all Ohio workers
to share in the wealth they help to make possible.”
Read online (https://t.e2ma.net/click/z9jb4h/bvwsuvc/bnqutjc)