past event
Workforce Development

Raising the Minimum Wage: A Different Approach to the Jobs Problem

Audio (MP3)

To download, click here.

About the Event

Today, roughly four million Americans earn wages at or below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. For a family of four, this wage falls beneath the poverty line. As President Obama recently stated in his State of the Union Address, “in the wealthiest nation on earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty.” However, the problem of working people living in poverty continues to grow. Low wage jobs have made up the majority of new jobs coming out of the recession and are projected to comprise a substantial share of the jobs that will be created in the coming decade. Given that the wage floor has far-reaching effects on the economy, meaningful consideration of its impact on workers, consumer spending, income inequality and other issues is vital. This event features a successful business leader and philanthropist, a leading conservative voice, a workers’ rights advocate, and a prominent researcher discussing how raising the minimum wage could contribute to addressing our jobs challenge. The event is the first discussion in an Aspen Institute series titled Working in America, which focuses on ideas and policies to improve opportunities for American workers.


Featured speakers

Ron Unz
Publisher, The American Conservative

Heidi Shierholz
Economist, Economic Policy Institute

Christine Owens
Executive Director, National Employment Law Project

Nick Hanauer
Entrepreneur and Venture Capitalist, Second Avenue Partners



Roben Farzad
Reporter, NPR


Related resources

Fact Sheet on the Federal Minimum Wage


This event is part of the Working in America series, an ongoing discussion series hosted by the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program that highlights an array of critical issues affecting low- and moderate-income workers in the United States and ideas for improving and expanding economic opportunities for working people. For more information, visit




Join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #talkgoodjobs.

Event information
Fri Mar 15, 2013
12:00pm - 1:30pm GMT+0000
Washington, DC, United States