The debate on wages is a long winding road that meanders all over the map. Fiat Chrysler employees voted down a contract last week that raised the lower pay levels for workers there to $25 an hour. Reports are coming out now that the latest proposal will raise that number to $29 an hour.
On the other end of the spectrum, there is a huge discussion on what the minimum wage should be.
That’s going to continue for the foreseeable future, according to a well researched and footnoted article by Ben Casselman on the website FiveThirtyEight that ran earlier this week. According to Casselman, it’s getting harder to move beyond a minimum wage job. In fact, that’s the title of his article.
The article provides some interesting data, including this data profiling what Casselman terms a “minimum wage worker”.
Nearly a quarter of the 3.2 million minimum-wage workers in 2014 were over 40; half were 25 or older, up from about 40 percent two decades earlier.7 The face of the minimum wage has changed significantly in recent decades. As a group, today’s minimum-wage workers are far more educated than in the 1980s or 1990s. They are also more likely to be men and more likely to have children. More than half of low-wage workers — significantly more than in past decades — are trying to support themselves, not living with their parents or supplementing a spouse’s income.
It’s well worth the read with plenty of food for thought for HR practitioners to take a look at your internal pay practices.