Articles by Polina Vlasenko, PhD
In recent years we’ve heard many arguments in favor of raising the federal minimum wage significantly above its current level of $7.25 an hour. Some states (New York and California are the largest example) have adopted legislation mandating an increase in the state minimum wage. In most cases, the proponents of a higher minimum wage argue that it should be set at $15 an hour. But why $15?
With job losses in the most demand-sensitive sectors and subdued jobs growth overall, the improvement in the labor market appears to be proceeding only slowly. Such an environment does not provide strong reasons for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates when the Fed officials meet later this month.
In the second quarter of 2016 the economy’s output, as measured by the Gross Domestic Product, grew at an annual rate of 1.2 percent, according to the advanced estimate released this morning by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. This is somewhat faster than the growth posted in the first quarter of the year, but still below the average growth seen in the previous two years, which exceeded 2 percent.
New data out this morning show it appears that the economy’s slowdown earlier this year was not as drastic as we initially concluded.