Recession & Minimum Wage

Recession & Minimum Wage

I’ve had a thought for a while about the relationship between economic slowdowns as well as recessions and the increases in Federal Minimum Wage.  I’ve never read an article on them, but it seems to me that there must be a relationship.  I’ve done a little bit of research and, while, of course, one can not show a conclusive relationship, nevertheless, the findings are interesting.

Recent Recessions/Ecomonic Slow Downs/Stock Market Crashes Minimum Wage Increases (source)
Early 1980’s Recession (July 1981 – November 1982)
19-months after Minimum Wage Increase
January 1, 1980 to $3.10/hour (.20 increase)
 Early 1980’s Recession (July 1981 – November 1982)
7-months after Minimum Wage Increase
January 1, 1981 to $3.35/hour (.25 increase)
Early 1990’s Recession (July 1990 – March 1991) April 1, 1990 to $3.80/hour (.45 increase)
Just got out of Early 1990’s recession.  April 1, 1991 to $4.25/hour (.45 increase)
 No related recession October 1, 1996 to $4.75/hour (.50 increase)
 1997 Asian Financial Crisis / October 27, 1997 mini-crash (October 1997)
1-month after Minimum Wage Increase
September 1, 1997 to $5.15/hour (.40 increase)
Early 2000s recession (March 2000 – November 2001)* No related Minimum Wage Increases
2007 – 2008 Economic Slow Down July 24, 2007 to $5.85/hour (.70 increase)
 2007 – 2008 Economic Slow Down July 24, 2008 to $6.55/hour (.70 increase)
   July 24, 2009 to $7.25/hour (.70 increase)

This makes for an interesting analysis, however, as I stated earlier, one can not make a conclusive relationship.  I do, however, that this deserves a more in depth study.

* – There is some debate as to the beginning of this recession (some data points it a few months
earlier into late 1999) as well as the end date (some data points it to ending as late of 2003).

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