The Economic Policy Institute's (EPI) article Low-Wage Workers Are Older than You Think provides a good, demographic snap shot of low wage workers in the U.S.
Their infographic (below) shows that surprisingly relatively few (11%) are teens and most (57%) work full-time.
Alert readers will remember we covered this topic back in 2013 in our article Low Wage Workers Getting Older. The key takeaway from that article is fast food jobs are no longer the domain of high schoolers:
These days, according to the National Employment Law Project, the average age of fast-food workers is 29. Forty percent are 25 or older; 31 percent have at least attempted college; more than 26 percent are parents raising children. Union organizers say that one-third to one-half of them have more than one job ...
The EPI and the National Employment Law Project have teamed up to produce a fact sheet on their proposal to increase the national minimum wage to $12 by 2020.
Raising the minimum wage has a lot of momentum behind it and despite what you may hear, even most small business owners support increasing it.
The academic literature is mixed on whether the net effect of raising the minimum wage is positive or negative. But most recent research shows as long as the increases are relatively modest and phased in over time (both true for this proposal), the overall impact is likely positive.
Given wage stagnation, the polarization of jobs and growing income in-equality - we lump these together in our Economic Uncertainty section - it's hard not to support this proposal.