Raising the Overtime Threshold Will Benefit 13.5 American Workers

The Economic Policy Institute's findings indicate that millions of families would benefit from these increased rules.

The Economic Policy Institute’s findings indicate that millions of families would benefit from these increased rules.

 

Back in November of 2014, Nick Hanauer wrote in Politico magazine that raising the overtime threshold would benefit “10.4 million middle-class Americans.” Today, the Economic Policy Institute released a report on the benefits of overtime, and their findings indicate that Hanauer’s estimate was low. The EPI says “13.5 million salaried workers would directly benefit” from President Obama’s proposed overtime raise. Among those enjoying the benefits of increased overtime?

  • 6.9 million women
  • 4.6 million parents and 9.2 million children
  • 1.6 million African-Americans and 2.1 million Hispanics
  • 3.8 million workers age 25 to 34
  • 3.4 million workers with a high school degree

These are groups that have traditionally suffered from income inequality. The benefits would begin instantaneously for workers who put in over 40 hours a week, and unemployment would likely decline soon after, once employers hire an adequate number of workers to cover the shifts that have until now been covered by overworked, underpaid employees.

If you want 13 and a half million Americans to benefit from increased overtime benefits, you should tell the Department of Labor that you approve of these new protections.

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Paul Constant
Paul Constant has written about politics, books, and film for Newsweek, The Progressive, the Utne Reader, and alternative weeklies around the country.