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Living-Wage Movement

September 27, 2002 • Volume 12, Issue 33
Do laws requiring higher wages cause unemployment?
By Jane Tanner

Introduction

A member of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) urges support for a referendum to raise the minimum wage in New Orleans. Voters approved the ordinance last February, but in September the Louisiana Supreme Court scuttled the victory, upholding a state law banning cities from setting minimum wages.  (ACORN/J. Scott)
A member of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) urges support for a referendum to raise the minimum wage in New Orleans. Voters approved the ordinance last February, but in September the Louisiana Supreme Court scuttled the victory, upholding a state law banning cities from setting minimum wages. (ACORN/J. Scott)

Since Baltimore became the first U.S. city to adopt a so-called living-wage ordinance in 1994, nearly 100 cities and counties have mandated wage floors above the $5.15-an-hour federal minimum. Relatively few workers take home bigger paychecks — perhaps 100,000 of the nation's 134 million workers. Moreover, living-wage ordinances are banned in one state, and others may follow suit. While the living-wage trend is still gaining momentum, economists disagree whether the pay increases are overshadowed by reductions in the number of jobs. Meanwhile, living-wage campaigns are active in more than 100 cities, including Santa Monica, Calif., where voters will decide in November on a $10.50 beachfront minimum.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Cost of Living and Wages
Apr. 18, 2014  Wealth and Inequality
Jan. 24, 2014  Minimum Wage
Jun. 19, 2009  Rethinking Retirement
Mar. 06, 2009  Middle-Class Squeeze
Mar. 14, 2008  Gender Pay Gap
Dec. 16, 2005  Minimum Wage
Sep. 27, 2002  Living-Wage Movement
Apr. 17, 1998  Income Inequality
Oct. 27, 1978  Wage-Price Controls
Jun. 16, 1978  Military Pay and Benefits
Mar. 23, 1966  Rising Cost of Living
Oct. 25, 1961  Price-Wage Restraints in National Emergencies
Jun. 21, 1961  Wage Policy in Recovery
Jun. 11, 1958  Prices and Wages in the Recession
Sep. 18, 1957  Control of Living Costs
Nov. 02, 1955  Wages, Prices, Profits
Jan. 26, 1954  Minimum Wage Raise
Jan. 02, 1954  Cost of Living
Jan. 21, 1953  Guaranteed Annual Wage
Dec. 17, 1952  Future of Price and Wage Controls
Nov. 19, 1951  Fringe Benefits and Wage Stabilization
Dec. 06, 1950  Wage Control
Jun. 13, 1949  Wages in Deflation
Jun. 04, 1947  Guarantees of Wages and Employment
Oct. 29, 1946  Decontrol of Wages
Dec. 01, 1945  Minimum Wages
Sep. 29, 1945  Wage Policy
Oct. 27, 1944  Wage Security
May 17, 1943  Incentive Wage Payments
Aug. 25, 1941  Prices, Profits, and Wage Control
Apr. 28, 1941  Wartime Changes in the Cost of Living
Sep. 21, 1940  Two Years of the Wage-Hour Law
Nov. 01, 1938  Industry and Labor Under the Wage-Hour Act
Jan. 20, 1938  Wage Rates and Workers' Incomes
Apr. 11, 1935  The Cost of Living in the United States
Sep. 01, 1930  Wages and the Cost of Living
May 24, 1930  The Anthracite Wage Agreement
Feb. 20, 1925  Measure of Recovery in Profits and Wages Since 1920–21 Depression
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
General Social Trends
Unemployment and Employment Programs
Wages
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