Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, the Federal government has been extremely involved in the U.S. economy. Stimulus after stimulus has been passed by Congress without much thought about the externalities of such new policies. One of the largest interventions by the government over this time period has been the increased amount of unemployment insurance benefits available to individuals that have lost their jobs.
Since its inception due to the passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, the minimum wage has been a highly debated topic. Originally set at 25 cents, the minimum wage has grown much larger over time. The Federal minimum wage currently stands at $7.25, unchanged since 2009 (DOL, 2019). Many states, however, have decided to set their own minimum wages, and some are much higher than the minimum Federal level. In this study, we attempt to determine the effect that minimum wage laws at the state and Federal level have had on poverty in the United States.
Welfare continues to be a subject of much deliberation in politics. Understanding the effect that the level of welfare benefits has on the unemployment rate would be necessary to know how to design policy in the best manner possible.