The Erosion of the Entry-Level Job Market

The Erosion of the Entry-Level Job Market: Minimum Wage Increases and their Impact on Minimum Wage Workers

  • Walter Wessels, North Carolina State University
  • Nicole Coomer, Workers Compensation Research Institute

This study examines the impact of a rising minimum wage on those who work jobs that pay the minimum. The authors point out that not all entry-level jobs are covered by federal minimum wage laws—thus, less-skilled employees who are priced out of a job after the minimum wage rises might find employment in the uncovered job market. The data bear this out: While employment for young adults in minimum wage jobs falls by over 11 percent for each 10 percent minimum wage increase, the total employment loss is more moderate at 2.3 percent.