Minimum Wages and Employment in France and United States Essay

A minimum wage is the insignificant hourly, daily or monthly compensation that corporations may offcially pay to personnel or workers. Similarly, it is the bottom-most wage at which staffs may deal in their labor. The custom of miminum wage rule is often said to have first expanded in New Zealand and Australia about the spin of the century. Primarily it was applied in these two nationns as element of the process for the aversion and decision of industrial clashes. Amidst industrialized nations the policies approved with regard to minimum wages have shown apparent diversifications. The advent which has been pursued in United Kingdom and Ireland is that the lowest wage appliance has been operated in selected industries. In United Kingdom, although the relevant legislation has sustained a number of significant alterations since the approval of Trade Board Acts of 1918, the focus has persisted to be on offering lowest wage legislation in those manufacturing where effectual trade union agency is wanting and wages are deemed to be insufficiently or aggreably low. The study intends to discuss minimum wage regulation in United Kingdom and compare that with respect to United States.

Economists are enthralled by lowest wage since there are well-built hypothetical predictions about the course of the result of the lowest wage on employment, and moderately extensively acknowledged techniques to guess the size of that effect. In 1978, the earnings council scheme of United Kingdom enclosed approximately 3 million personnel in 41 dissimilar trades. Pay boards with identical purposes enclosed concerning 400,000 personnel in agriculture. Even though the composition of manufacturing exaggerated has altered fairly there has not been any marked augment in the whole number of personnel affected given that the finish of the Second World War. In whole in relation to one-sixth of total workers in the nation are covered by lowest wages. Although the universal lowest wage schemes of industrialized nations show substantial diversity, they do have two significant rudiments in general. The first is their sustained application. Once recognized, these arrangements have usually been upheld and vigorously administered. The rates set are adjusted on a relatively usual basis. The other significant general element is that in these nations lowest wage setting up is observed as a important but on the whole additional method of pay regulation, the major technique being communal bargaining.

The federal lowest wage augmented to $3.35 for each hour in January 1981 and stayed frozen all through the 1980s.

Official statements of the objectives of lowest wage setting up often stress its application in guaranteeing that income earners obtain what at an exacting time and situation are believed to be upright wages. Simultaneously, a host of other connected purposes are pursued. Those most often talked about are the removal of sweating or misuse, the conservation of purchasing authority, the lessening of poverty, the elimination of unjust competition, the guaranteeing of equivalent pay for equivalent work, the avoidance of industrial clash, as well as the endorsement of economic development and stability.

The defense of susceptible group of personnel is based on the supposition that lowest wage setting up should be extremely selective tool of government policy, restricted in appliance to those groups of personnel, who as of their exacting characteristics, are in a very feeble bargaining situation on the industry market. The idea of susceptibility was in a few nations originally linked with certain wide categories of personnel, namely, home-workers or youthful, female native workers. What aspects should be taken into explanation in considering which the manufacturing are where there is a requirement for lowest wage defense is typically not exactly defined in lawmaking texts or working practice. But, usually it is understood that they should be those typified by those both an nonattendance of effectual combined bargaining and little pay.

Under the original United Kingdom Trade Boards Act of 1909, the purpose of which was often explained as the removal of sweating lowest wages were to be set where the pace of wages existing in any division of the trade is remarkably low, in comparison to that in further employments. The United Kingdom Trade Boards Act of 1918 was understood in somewhat extensive terms. Lowest wage setting up was to function where the Ministry of Labor was of the belief that no sufficient appliance exists for the effectual rule of wages, all through the trade, and that so, having consider to the rates of earnings existing in the trade. Even though the pertinent legislation has been altered numerous times, this formulation essentially still rules decisions with reverence to reporting. Phrasing analogous to that applied in the 1918 law-making of the United Kingdom seems in the regulations of several nations which at one time were prejudiced by British lawful approaches and customs, though often the formulation is more elastic. In a number of cases, the legislation makes no reference to low wages and merely refers to absence of effective machinery as the necessary condition for minimum wage fixing. In others, the authority is granted for fixing minimum wages simply where it is considered expedient to do so.

Where the idea of vulnerability is closely recognized with the absence of effectual appliance for the rule of wages, this role is frequently chased by establishing an alternate collective procedure for wage rule that is to some degree designed on collective bargaining. Thus lowest wages may be set through a decentralized arrangement of boards or councils which, even though tripartite, regularly operate in such a manner as to locate the main liability for arriving agreed choices on the representatives of the personnel and companies from the individual manufacturing concerned.

It is obvious that the beginning of proper role for lowest wage setting up relaxes on the faith that wage resolve should to the degree possible be left to the combined choices of personnel and employers and that lowest wage fixing should not extend beyond into those regions where acceptable industrial associations’ patterns have expanded. More usually there is assumption that there is government’s straight participation in the determination of earnings and other conditions of employment should be lessened. Hence legislative requirements usually offer for wide consultations with legislative bodies of employers and personnel in the manufacturing concerned when suggestions are made for the foreword or elimination of lowest wages. Such consultation is necessary by Convention No. 26.

To begin with, by emphasizing attention on a few collections of personnel, lowest wage fixing can be restricted to those who emerge to be really in call for of defense, and rates that are intimately in line with the ability to disburse of industrial industries can be recognized.

There are however, usually cited arguments against locating such limitations on the range of lowest wage fixing. Maybe the most basic of these is that this loom constitutes a gratuitously modest effort to cause a decrease in poverty. It is competed that the wages of the minimum paid could be enhanced by over is likely to be accomplished by this loom without there being unenthusiastic economic consequences. A related quarrel is that this role does not authorize the government to make a synchronized endeavor to get better the position of the minimum paid wage earners. The efficiency of this move toward in endorsing the development of unpaid collective bargaining is also inquired. It is recommended that the organization of detailed work-related lowest wage rates, in addition to other conditions of employment, through a communal procedure in personal industries serves to dishearten rather than hearten the enlargement of communal bargaining, since the inducement of unorganized personnel to unite trade unions and sustain the establishment of unpaid equipment may be reduced.

Over three million workers are enclosed by the arrangement, mostly in retail trade, hotels and restaurants, hairdressing, clothing and agriculture. It is not frequently right away obvious that the contribution of representatives of personnel’ and employers’ associations in decentralized lowest wage fixing equipment has dished up to endorse the additional room of unpaid collective bargaining.

This year views the tenth anniversary of the foreword of the National Minimum Wage. Throughout the decade that has approved since 1 April 1999, the UK has undergone record stages of employment and unparalleled successive quarters of economic enlargement. But this anniversary crumpled during the most confused financial times the UK has observed for decades. Enlargement stalled in the second quarter of 2008 and upturned in the third and fourth quarters, coming down by an increasing 2.2 per cent. This fall in production growth has been mirrored in sharp enhancements in unemployment and a reduction in total employment.

This year, as the National Minimum Wage rejoices its 10th anniversary, the Government asserted the Low Pay Commission to take on once more a filled program of work. They checked and assessed the effect of the lowest wage, appraisal the apprentice exceptions, and made suggestions on the lowest wage rates for October 2009 and, as suitable, 2010. To fulfill this forward, the Commission has specially made investigation, evaluated data, consulted extensively, and traveled about the UK to construct a confirmation base to notify its recommendations.

A minimum wage job is described to be one that, in April 2008, paid below the equal of the approaching October 2008 lowest wage down rated by the enlargement in standard earnings between April 2008 and October 2008. On that computation, the lowest wage job is defined as one that is held by an adult aged 22 and in excess of paying below ¬£5.63; by a youngster aged 18‚ąí21 paying below ¬£4.69; and by a 16‚Äď17 year old paying below ¬£3.47. In April 2008, there were concerning 1.13 million lowest wage jobs defined in this technique, approximately 4.3 per cent of all the employments in the UK labor market. Figure 1 shows that the bulks (58.4 per cent) of lowest wage jobs are part-time and that just beneath two-thirds (64.3 per cent) are held by women.

Using the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), it has been noted concerning 12 per cent of lowest wage jobs are provisional in comparison to only 6.4 per cent of all jobs in the entire economy. About 8 per cent of temporary jobs pay the lowest wage in comparison to around 4 per cent of enduring jobs. Approximately 40 per cent of personnel in lowest wage jobs have been in their employment for below one year. This is almost double the amount of jobs of that period in the economy (22.6 per cent). Therefore, three-fifths of personnel have been doing the same lowest wage job for more than twelve months.

Figure 1:

In excess of half, concerning 55 per cent, of lowest wage jobs are in large corporations (those with 250 or additional workers) although large corporations utilize two-thirds of all workers. Micro firms (those with 1 to 9 workers) use fewer than 8 per cent of the sum workforce but offer in excess of 15 per cent of all lowest wage jobs. Below a fifth of all jobs are in small companies (those with fewer than 50 workers), but almost a third (32 per cent) of all lowest wage jobs are in small companies.

Lowest wage jobs are more probable to be held by women, young personnel, those of departure age, racial minorities, disabled persons, non-qualified persons. They are also more probably than enhanced paid jobs to be part-time and provisional. A higher occurrence of lowest wage jobs is observed in small corporations, in the private sector, in particular regions of the UK, and in certain manufacturing and occupations.

A great deal of the data that have become obtainable since LPC, 2008, narrate to the lowest wage up ratings in October 2007, all augmented by approximately 3.2 per cent to ¬£5.52 for adults, ¬£4.60 for 18‚Äď21 year olds and ¬£3.40 for 16‚Äď17 year olds. This augmentation compared with standard pay enlargement of 3.9 per cent, and price inflation extending from 2.1 per cent (CPI) to 4.2 per cent (RPI). Towards the finish of 2007, production and service were expanding strongly with unemployment declining. The impact of the global financial crisis, initiating in the US in the spring of 2007, did not affect the real economy in the UK until 2008.

The above discussion and analysis have demonstrated that the minimum wage has had a significant impact on the bottom of the earnings distribution. We can now investigate how firms have coped with the resulting impact on labour costs. In the face of an increase to the National Minimum Wage, employers have a number of options to limit the impact on their wage bill. We have seen that some firms have attempted to absorb these costs by cutting other aspects of the remuneration package such as pension provision, unsocial hours payments, overtime and shift premia, bonuses and non-wage considerations such as perks and staff discounts. Employers can also, for example, adjust the numbers employed, the number of hours worked, or seek to increase the productivity of the workforce through various means. If they are unable to restrain the impact, they might limit profit margins or raise prices. The size of these adjustments is going to decide the degree of any adverse effect from the rise in the minimum wage. It is in these areas, and on minimum wage earners especially, that we focus our concentration in analyzing the effect of the lowest wage.

Our study of the effect of the lowest wage on the economy has observed that it stays to put forth an important influence on wages at the bottom of the earnings distribution. The minimum wage has remained to rise in relation to both wages and prices. A complete research program has been specially made that scrutinized how companies had managed with these extra wage expenses, emphasizing on the era of the comparatively big up ratings flanked by 2003 and 2006. Firms seem to have tailored to these enhancements in wage expenses by altering salary structures, eliminating wage premia, and lessening non-wage expenses.

The initial national lowest wage in the United States was an element of the unique Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938. The American national lowest wage has never been indexed and enhances only when lawmaking changes are ratified. The national minimum relates only to personnel covered by the FLSA, whose exposure has been extensive over the years to comprise most jobs. The statutory lowest wage controls the hourly usual cash compensation obtained by an employee incorporating the employee’s division of some payroll taxes.

In 2007, Congress lastly raised the federal lowest wage for the first time in 10 years, providing millions of low-income personnel a self-effacing raise to $7.25 for each hour by 2009. However, for millions more low-earnings workers such as the waitress at local diner, paychecks have not dislodged.

Workers who depend on tips are exposed to a special tipped employee lowest wage, which has stayed unmoving since 1991 at a scanty $2.13 per hour- just $4,430 for each year for a full-time employee. Congress has unnoticed this modest-understood part of lowest wage scheme the last few times that it has augmented the lowest wage. The consequence has been to haul down pay for tipped personnel in many of country’s fast-expanding service manufacturing, like restaurants, hotels, nail salons, and car washes, where millions nowadays expend their careers.

The irresistible majority of tipped personnel are adult women‚ÄĒ a lot of of them sustaining families. The majority of them are harmed by the stationary tipped member of staff lowest wage, which is an under-valued issue in the unequal disbursement that working women persist to obtain across U.S. economy.

The solution is to ensure tipped personnel a strong smallest wage that is provided directly by their companies. That is what the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) performed traditionally and what many state lowest wage laws still do nowadays. 32 states have conserved or approved stronger defenses for tipped personnel, and by 2010 above half of those will assure tipped personnel 60 per cent of the full lowest wage‚ÄĒthe stage of defense that the federal lowest wage offered tipped personnel until 1989. These states have obtained that a strong tipped employee minimum wage lifts living standards for this rising labor force without throbbing business enlargement.

The question arises that is the lowest wage in United States low when compared to the other nations. It has been viewed that following Japan United States has the minimum wage at below the 40 per cent of median full time wages.

The research observed little proof to recommend that the augmentations in the lowest wage had led to lessening in employment or hours employed. There was also no confirmation that the lowest wage had led to alterations in productivity, but some facts recommended that profits had been pressed. In all, it has been concluded that the lowest wage remains to put forth a kind manipulation on the economy.


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Brown, C, 1988. ‚ÄúMinimum Wage Laws: Are they overrated?‚ÄĚ Journal of Economic Perspectives. Vol. 2 No. 3, pp. 133-145.

Card, D, Oct., 1992. ‚ÄúUsing Regional Variation in Wages to Measure the Effects of the Federal Minimum Wage‚ÄĚ. Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Cornell University, School of Industrial & Labor Relations. Vol. 46, No. 1, pp. 22-37

Nayak, R.D., Sonn, P, Aug 2009. ‚ÄúRestoring the Minimum Wage for America‚Äôs Tipped Workers‚ÄĚ. Available at: (Accessed on August 16, 2009).

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