Public Cost of Low-Wage Work

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California Workers' Rights: A Manual of Job Rights, Protections and Remedies

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Ken Jacobs, Ian Eve Perryand Jenifer MacGillvary

The Public Cost of a Low Federal Minimum Wage

The Raise the Wage Act, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2019, proposes a national $15 minimum wage to be fully implemented in 2025. This paper looks at the cost of five public safety net programs for families of workers who would receive a direct wage increase under this bill. We find that close to half of these families (47%) are enrolled in at least one program, at an annual cost of $107 billion.

Ken Jacobs, Ian Eve Perryand Jenifer MacGillvary

The Public Cost of a Low Minimum Wage in Georgia

This data brief estimates the public cost to Georgia and the federal government from the use of safety net programs by low-wage working families who would be directly affected by an increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025. We find that just over half of these Georgia families (51%) are enrolled in at least one safety net program, at an annual cost of $4.7 billion.

Sylvia Allegretto, Marc Doussard, Dave Graham-Squire, Ken Jacobs, Dan Thompsonand Jeremy Thompson

Fast Food, Poverty Wages: The Public Cost of Low-Wage Jobs in the Fast-Food Industry

Medicaid, the Earned Income Tax Credit and the other public benefits programs discussed in this report provide a vital support system for millions of Americans working in the United States’ service industries, including fast food. We analyze public program utilization by working families and estimate total average annual public benefit expenditures on the families of front-line fast-food workers for the years 2007–2011.