How would the minimum wage increase affect you?

If you’re looking for good research paper topics, think about anything related to the national minimum wage and the recent move for a federal minimum wage increase to $10.10 per hour. It’s a complex subject but one worth exploring because it has such a far-reaching effect on our economy. Let’s take a look at various approaches for a research paper on the minimum wage.

The fight over minimum wage is complex, but it's important because it may affect you. (Credit: Adam Fisher)

The fight over minimum wage is complex, but it’s important because it may affect you. (Credit: Adam Fisher)

Minimum wage research paper topics

A good place to get started is at Questia where you will find millions of full-text books, articles, academic papers, encyclopedias and newspapers. What’s more, Questia has research tutorials and tools to help you to research, organize and write your paper.

Among the many resources related to the minimum wage is the article “Minimum Wage at $15 an Hour: Would It Help or Hurt?” by Mark Trumbull for the August 2, 3013, issue of The Christian Science Monitor.

Ever since 2009 the national minimum wage has been $7.25 an hour. That’s low compared to many other countries. According to Trumbull, “The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development pegs the U.S. minimum at 38 percent of the nation’s median wage. That’s similar to Japan, but the base wage is near 50 percent of the median (or higher) in nations including Australia, Britain and France.”

A keyword search on Questia for minimum wage gleaned 165 books, 106 academic journal articles, 254 magazine articles and 3,213 newspaper articles. You can also learn about the Fair Labor Standards Act and other related topics in The Columbia Encyclopedia on Questia.

Department of Labor

Another good resource for learning about the minimum wage is the Department of Labor website where you can learn about the history of the minimum wage and about minimum wage law. Here you will learn that the federal minimum wage began with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938, which set the minimum wage at $0.25 per hour. Here is where the FLSA applies to:

  • Enterprises with employees who engage in interstate commerce, produce goods for interstate commerce, or handle, sell, or work on goods or materials that have been moved in or produced for interstate commerce.
  • Businesses with more than $500,000 in annual dollar volume of business.
  • It also covers the following types of businesses regardless of volume: hospitals; institutions primarily engaged in the care of the sick, aged, mentally ill or disabled who reside on the premises; schools for children who are mentally or physically disabled or gifted; preschools, elementary and secondary schools, and institutions of higher education; and federal, state and local government agencies.

Minimum wage by state

An unexpected resource for learning about the minimum wage can be found at the National Geographic Education website where you will find Minimum Wage in the United States.

As you may know minimum wages are set by individual states, territories and cities. According to the website, “Many of these regions set their minimum wages higher than the federal minimum wage. The highest minimum wage in the country is offered by the city of San Francisco, California, where workers are paid at least $10.55/hour. Washington has the highest minimum wage among states, at $9.19/hour.”

Minimum wage deliberations

If the federal minimum wage is raised it will affect millions of workers who are covered by the FLSA. Because of this, there will be pressure for the states to raise their minimum wage as well. Recently, workers at fast food establishments have been striking for a minimum wage increase to $15 per hour, claiming that it is impossible to live on $7.25 an hour.

The debate positions “for” and “against” regarding raising the minimum wage are presented by C-SpanClassroomDeliberations.org with background information and video clips of key figures in the debate.

Minimum wage research sources

You’ll find an interactive timeline that takes “A Look at 30 Years of U.S. Minimum Wage [Interactive]” on the Turbo Tax blog.

Journalists have to research a topic to understand it thoroughly before they can cover it. Take advantage of their research sources on “Effect of raising the minimum wage: Research and key lessons.”

The Economic Policy Institute [www.epi.org] is a think tank that includes the needs of low- and middle-income workers in economic policy discussions.

You can read more about the minimum wage and other employment law issues on Questia.

Do you think that the minimum wage should be raised to $15? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.

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