Minimum Wage

Can D.C. afford a $15/hour minimum wage?

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Cross-posted on Brookings’ Metro Blog, The Avenue

Alan Berube

Earlier this week, the Washington Post reported that D.C. city officials have cleared the way for a voter initiative in November 2016 to raise the city’s hourly minimum wage to $15. The proposal is already pitting labor unions and other progressive groups who back the rise against restaurant owners and the D.C. Chamber of Commerce, who warn that the hike would force job cuts and business closings.

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Mayors Take Aim at Inequality, but is That the Right Target?

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Cross-posted on Brookings’ Metro Blog, The Avenue

Alan Berube

Monday, a special U.S. Conference of Mayors task force released a report documenting growing income disparities in U.S. metro areas. The Cities of Opportunity Task Force is chaired by New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, two of the most prominent mayors elected last fall on platforms to reduce inequities within their cities.

The analysis and the mayors’ response to it highlight the difficult situation these leaders face.

The statistics in the report, authored by IHS Global Insight, demonstrate that in most places, inequality is increasing. In about two-thirds of metro areas, average incomes grew faster (or shrank more slowly) than median incomes from 2005 to 2012, suggesting that more income has become concentrated among richer households. Read More

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