Impacts of Increase in Minimum Wage per Hour

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Minimum wage per hour refers to the actual amount in which both unskilled, semiskilled and skilled employees are supposed to be pain for one hour. Most economies have set the minimum wage per hour in which every employer should hand to the employees. The rationale behind setting minimum wage per hour is to avoid exploitation of employees by their employers who would take advantage of labor regulation gaps to underpay their employees. This follows that the sole aim of setting minimum wage is to protect workers. The minimum wage is subject to regular revision which means that they can be revised downwards or upwards. In United State, the current minimum wage per how stands at $7.25, although many states have higher demands as compared to others. However, there is a proposal in which the federal government wants to raise this minimum wage per hour to $15 with an aim of reducing discrimination as well as stimulating economic growth.The proposal to increase the wage per hour has ignited a debate in the US where others are of the opinion that the increase will have no impact on the economy while other economists arguing that the increase will have economic impacts both in the long run and the short run. This paper therefore seeks to critically analyze both positive and negative economic effects on this proposal, both in the short run and the long run.Increase in minimum wage per hour will increase the rate of inflation in the country. By increasing minimum wages per hour given to workers means that more money will be in circulation in the economy or in other words the purchasing power of employees will increase. This increase in liquidity will increase the demand for commodities in the market since more people will be having a lot of money at their disposal to make purchases. This will therefore create a situation where a lot of money will be chasing few goods in the market. Both the manufacturers and retail sellers will respond to the increased demand by increasing prices to their commodities. The general increase in prices of commodities in the market is referred to inflation (Cowen & Tabarrok, 2015, p86). A high rate of inflation is not healthy for the economy, especially if the government does not take control measures. This means that the proposal to increase the minimum wage per hour, although it may be welcomed by the employees may have some negative impacts to the economy. However, if the proposal is implemented, the federal government must take some measures to reduce the increased purchasing power among the people, for instance, by increasing the rate of taxation.Increase in minimum wage per hour will increase productivity. Essentially, when employers pay more to their workers, the workers feel psychologically satisfied. The pay rise therefore acts as a motivation to the workers which translate into an increased work output. Studies show that when a company increases the wages of employees, the rates of work absenteeism as well as the turnover rate reduce significantly and hence productivity increases (Hails&Ascension, 2016, p78). However, companies will need to adjust their prices slightly so as to offset the increased payout cost. This would mean that if the proposal is implemented, many companies will perform better that before leading to economic growth.A rise in minimum wage per hour will result into an increased rate of unemployment. As the federal government enforces the proposal, companies will be forced to pay more to their employees, which means that the labor costs will skyrocket. Companies will in turn be forced to lay off workers so as to reduce the increased labor costs. It is also worth to note that most companies will not be willing to increase their prices in order to offset the labor cost and hence they will prefer to lay off workers. This means that if the proposal is adopted, then the rate of unemployment will increase (Card, 2015, p43). According the Heritage Foundation report that was published in 2016; the proposal to increase the wage per hour to $15 will render 9 million people unemployed. This rate of unemployment will have adverse impacts to the economy as a whole.Increasing the rate of wages paid to the workers per hour will result in growth of small businesses. More specifically, the wage increase will lead to growth of restaurants. Studies shows that most of low incomes earners tend to crowd to small restaurants near their workplace during the lunch time. Since these workers represent a significantly large population in the United State, their presence is the backbone of the restaurant industry. As their income is adjusted upwards, they tend to take meals more often as compared to when they were earning low income. This means that as the policy is implemented, the restaurants and other small businesses will grow.Increase in the minimum wage per hour will increase the rate of saving and investment which will in turn accelerate economic growth. The policy Implementation will ensure that more money goes to the hands of the workers. This will means that workers will have surplus after consumption which would be saved for the future. Some workers will also prefer in government securities with an aim of receiving some returns. As the rate of saving and investment rises, the rate of economic growth will rise.The implementation of the proposal will also have some economic effects according to categories of workers, for instance, skilled, unskilled, semiskilled workers, young and old workers and different ethnities. Generally, many skilled workers especially those with comparatively high salaries will lose their jobs as their companies tries to reduce the cost of labor and therefore these employees will be affected negatively. On the other hand, semiskilled and unskilled will benefit more since their average earnings per week will substantially increase.This proposal if implemented will have a positive impact on the young people. Young people under the age of 25 are minimum wage workers. It is estimated that 11% of young people earn less than the minimum set wage as compared to only 2% of workers aged above 25 who earn minimum wages(Katz $Krueger,2013,p15). It follows that as the wage rate in increased, the number of young people who will benefit will be more as compared to the number of old people.Some states will be affected more by this proposal compared to others. For instance, most people living in California earn a minimum wage or in other word, they are low earners. As the wage rate is increased, these low income earners will benefit more since their average earnings per week will rise as compared to other workers from other states. In Mississippi, most workers are skilled and hence receive comparatively high wages. Employees from this state will lose jobs as companies try to reduce the cost and hence they will be affected negatively by the proposal.Similarly, part time workers will be favored by the pay rise policy. As wages are increased, the part time workers will earn more that before, even if the work the same hours. However, full time workers may be affected negatively since they may be laid off for companies to reduce costs. Pay rise per hour may not affect them directly since they are not paid as per number of hours worked.Racism minorities living in some states will be affected by this policy. For instances it is estimated that 44.4% of people living in California are black people and Asians. A large portion of these people work as either semiskilled or unskilled and therefore they will be favored by the wage rise policy if adopted(Card$Krueger,2012,p59). This is because their wages will be increased hence they will have a higher weekly average earning as compared to when the rate was $76.25.To conclude, the proposal to increase the wage per hour from $7.25 to $15 will have significant effect on the economy, some of these effects will be positive while others will be negative. It has also been seen that some of the effect will be in the short run, while others will be in the long run. Some of the effects of this policy will be an increased in the rate of unemployment, an increased rate of inflation, an increased rate of savings and investments among others.Further, it has been seen that this policy will affect to employees depending on whether they are skilled, unskilled or semiskilled. Skilled employees will be affected negatively since they will lose jobs as companies shed off the extra labor costs while semiskilled and unskilled will be favored by the policy since their earning will Increase. The US government should keenly think on how to reduce the negative repercussions of this policy such as increasing the rate of taxation to mop out the excess purchasing power from the people before implementing the wage rise policy.It is worth to note that due to the interconnectivity nature of the economy, an effect to one economic variable will spread the effect to the other economic variables.Work CitedCowen, Tyler, and Alex Tabarrok. Modern Principles of Microeconomics. Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.Card, David. “Do minimum wages reduce employment? A case study of California, 2013–2015.” ILR Review 46.1 (1992): 38-54.Card, David, and Alan B. Krueger. Minimum wages and employment: A case study of the fast food industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. No. w4509. National Bureau of Economic Research, 2012.Hall, Ascension. “Principles of Macroeconomics.”,2016Katz, Lawrence F., and Alan B. Krueger. “The effect of the minimum wage on the fast-food industry.” ILR Review 46.1 (2013): 6-21.

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