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What The Media Tell Americans About Free Enterprise

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January 1998


Minimum Coverage

Proposals to increase the minimum wage again have yet to garner network coverage, but initial newspaper coverage is not encouraging.

According to staff writer Elizabeth Shogren, in the January 13 Los Angeles Times, President Clinton was considering "another increase in the minimum wage to give the working poor a bigger stake in the vibrant economy, White House officials said Monday."

She called liberals who support the increase "advocates for the working poor," and while noting that economists think minimum- wage hikes destroy entry-level jobs, she then added that there "has been scant evidence that the last minimum wage increase has caused significant job losses, and inflation remains at its lowest level in years."

That may have been true on January 13, but the Employment Policies Institute has since then released a study that comes to a different conclusion. The Institute found that during the first 11 months after the increase in the minimum wage to $4.75 per hour, employment for those aged 16-19 dropped .14 percent. The male teen employment rate dropped .6 percent, with black male teen employment falling a full percentage point. This was at the same time that a booming economy increased employment by .7 percent overall, the Institute found.

Will broadcast news stories, and future print stories, about minimum-wage proposals include the Institute’s study?


Rich Noyes





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