Protocol - Minimum Wage
This protocol is based on extracting state Minimum Wage (MW) data from the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division. These web pages provide information on current minimum MWs by state, premium pay (over the employee’s regular pay) and changes in MW over time.
Investigators should use the most up-to-date MW data available, as MWs change over time. Since there is a period between passage of an MW law and when the law becomes effective, investigators should pay attention to the implementation date.
This protocol applies to adults ages 20 and older. Federal rules allow employers to pay an MW of not less than $4.25 an hour to employees who are under 20 years of age during the first 90 consecutive calendar days after initial employment. Once the individual turns 20, their pay must be raised to no less than the applicable MW. This may create issues for adults who are 18 or 19; thus, some analyses are restricted to adults 20 years of age or older.
The State Minimum Wage Laws (https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/minimum-wage/state) include the minimum wage for each U.S. state and territory that functions under U.S. federal law, including premium pay after designated hours. If a state does not have a minimum wage law, then employers subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act must pay the current federal minimum wage.
State minimum wage laws can be assessed by dichotomous and continuous measures. In a dichotomous measure, states with a minimum wage greater than the federal minimum wage are coded as 1, and states with a minimum wage at or below the federal amount are coded as 0. The portion of the state year where the minimum wage is higher than the federal amount is used if the state’s minimum wage was not higher than the federal amount for the entire year. Another dichotomous measure may be created to identify whether a state ever had a minimum wage higher than the federal amount, with a 1 representing that they did, and a 0 that they did not. The 2 variables may be multiplied together to create an interaction term, measuring the effect of having a state minimum wage higher than the federal amount.
The continuous variable measures the effective state minimum wage per hour subtracted from the federal rate per hour. If states had >1 minimum wage amount in 1 year, the weighted average for the state minimum wage is used.
A table of states with Greater than federal minimum wage (MW), Equals federal MW of $7.25, and No MW Required, can be viewed at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/mw-consolidated.
A history of “Changes in Basic Minimum Wages in Non-Farm Employment Under State Law: Selected Years 1968 to 2021” can be accessed at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/state/minimum-wage/history.
Personnel and Training Required
Knowledge of U.S. Department of Labor data products and websites
Access to a desktop or laptop computer with internet access
|Specialized requirements for biospecimen collection||No|
|Average time of greater than 15 minutes in an unaffected individual||No|
Mode of Administration
Secondary Data Analysis
Not applicable; derived from publicly available data
The U.S. Department of Labor provides national and state minimum wage information that is publicly available and easy to access.
Process and Review
Protocol Name from Source
U.S. Department of Labor, State Minimum Wage Laws, 2022
Merrill-Francis, M., Vernick, J. S., McGinty, E. E., & Pollack Porter, K. M. (2022). Association between fatal occupational injuries and state minimum-wage laws, 2003-2017. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 62(6), 878-884. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2021.09.022
Wage and Hour Division. (2022, January). State Minimum Wage Laws. U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division. https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/minimum-wage/state
Avila, C. J., & Frakt, A. B. (2021). Raising the minimum wage and public health. JAMA Health Forum, 2(1), e201587. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamahealthforum.2020.1587
Buszkiewicz, J. H., Hill, H. D., & Otten, J. J. (2021). Association of state minimum wage rates and health in working-age adults using the National Health Interview Survey. American Journal of Epidemiology, 190(1), 21-30. https://doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwaa018
Kuehn, David. (2014). The importance of study design in the minimum-wage debate (Issue Brief #384). Economic Policy Institute. https://www.epi.org/publication/importance-study-design-minimum-wage-debate/
Leigh, J. Paul, & Du, Juan. (2018, October 4). Effects of minimum wages on population health. Health Policy Brief. Health Affairs. https://doi.org/10.1377/hpb20180622.107025
Neumark, D., & Wascher, W. (2006). Minimum wages and employment: A review of evidence from the new minimum wage research. Working Papers 060708, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2007. https://ideas.repec.org/p/irv/wpaper/060708.html
Paul Leigh, J., Leigh, W. A., & Du, J. (2019). Minimum wages and public health: A literature review. Preventive Medicine, 118(122-134). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2018.10.005
|Variable Name||Variable ID||Variable Description||dbGaP Mapping|
|PX290901050000||What is the actual minimum wage?||N/A|
|PX290901040000||Did the state have more than one minimum more||N/A|
|PX290901030200||Did the state ever have a minimum wage more||N/A|
|PX290901030100||Is the state's minimum wage higher or lower more||N/A|
|PX290901020000||Was a dichotomous or continuous measure used more||N/A|
December 14, 2022
Minimum Wage is the lowest hourly rate an employer can legally pay workers.
Minimum Wage (MW) provides a guaranteed minimum hourly pay, mandated at the state level. Research suggests that an MW reduces poverty rates. It can be used to look at individuals in one state and to compare communities or populations. It can also be used longitudinally to look at changes over time. This measure can help identify the MW in specific states and identify which states do not have an MW.
minimum wage, Living wage, nonexempt employee, Fair Labor Standard Act, exempt employee, justified wage, income, hourly wage, U.S. Department of Labor, SES Measures (income, education, occupation), work characteristics
|Protocol ID||Protocol Name|
There are no publications listed for this protocol.