The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour -- up from $7.25 -- would cost 500,000 jobs but could help move 900,000 workers above the poverty threshold.
The report is instructive for Hawaii state lawmakers, who are also having a debate about raising the state's $7.25 an hour minimum wage.
Increasing the minimum wage would have two principal effects on low-wage workers. Most of them would receive higher pay that would increase their family’s income, and some of those families would see their income rise above the federal poverty threshold. But some jobs for low-wage workers would probably be eliminated, the income of most workers who became jobless would fall substantially, and the share of low-wage workers who were employed would probably fall slightly.