Pennsylvania is one of 20 states that hasn’t raised the 13-year-old federal minimum wage of $7.25. But Pennsylvania is the only such state in the Mid-Atlantic, according to the United States Department of Labor.
A 2021 PA Department of Labor report showed that minimum wage earners only represent 2.6% of all hourly workers in the commonwealth, but 70% of them are 25 years old or younger.
Richard Paulsen is an assistant professor of economics at Bloomsburg University. He is seeing a large portion of the youth population either earning a base wage, or even deciding to not join the workforce at all. One reason young people might not take a minimum wage job? The wage can’t buy as much as it used to.