ment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2015), Americans work an average of 38.6 hours per week. Getting the minimum wage of $7.25, that person would only get around $1120 per month. That amount would
hardly be sufficient for a person to maintain all their expenses throughout
the month. Raising the federal minimum wage to $15.37 an hour would help those people out a lot.
Even if the federal minimum wage is raised to $15.37, will it actually solve the social problem of poverty in the U.S.? I do not think so, because only
870,000 workers earned exactly the minimum wage, and 1.7 million had
wages below the minimum wage, altogether they make up about 3.3% of
all the hourly paid workers in the United States (Bureau of Labor Statistics,
2015), which is really not a big number. Raising the federal minimum wage would help make things better for those few people.
The official poverty rate in the U.S. is about 13.5 %, based on the U.S. Census Bureauâ€™s (2015) estimates. That year, an estimated 43.1 million Americans
lived in poverty according to the official measure. The poverty rate is about 10% higher than those who are receiving the minimum wage. I do believe that the minimum wage should be increased, but I do beive itâ€™s the main
reason for the social problem of poverty in the U.S., but it does play a role in it. I think the main reason is the weak economy and lack of education.
Americaâ€™s weak economy has caused an increase in unemployment. Some companies have been forced to cut jobs or even close their doors for business. Others have chosen to ship their factories overseas in order to save
money by hiring foreign workers at a much lower wage than American work-
ers. All of these decisions by companies were a direct result of the economy, and without cutting jobs or moving them overseas, these companies would have most likely shut their doors too (Haveman, 2013). With the companies moving overseas, many people became unemployed and eventually were not able to support themselves, let alone their families. The other major
factor of unemployment is the lack of education. Many people in the U.S. are part of the lower-class family and cannot afford to go to college. Therefore
the only jobs they can get are low paying with little to no benefits, and then they have to support themselves and their families on a low salary (Have-
man, 2013). These jobs are getting cut or moving overseas so the company can save money by hiring foreign workers at a much lower pay. Because of this, it becomes very difficult for lower class Americans to find jobs, which eventually leads them to poverty.
There are many debates on whether the federal minimum wage should be increased, regardless of its affects on the social problem of poverty. I am in favor of raising the federal minimum wage, because it can help those
few people who are receiving the federal minimum wage worry less about
poverty, and not cause the poverty rate in the U.S. to get higher. But the fact
remains that just increasing the federal minimum wage is not going the solve the social problem of poverty. The U.S. economy has to improve.
The Macomb Community College journal of student words and images.