UW News

February 11, 2020

Soundbites & B-roll: Minimum wage and health

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Download soundbites and b-roll: James Buskiewicz
Doctoral student, epidemiology
UW School of Public Health


A UW study, published Feb. 10 in the American Journal of Epidemiology, looked at more than 131,000 adults between 2008 and 2015. The subjects were 25 to 64 years old and were either employed or unemployed but looking for work.

The study found that increases in minimum wages primarily had no effect on health overall. However, they did find a mix of negative and positive effects associated with the health of certain groups of working-age people.

“We found that an increase in minimum wage really didn’t have a huge impact on health overall, which surprised us,” said lead author James Buszkiewicz, a doctoral student in epidemiology in the UW School of Public Health. “We did see, when we looked at subgroups, some mixed health effects there, however.”

For example, the researchers found that a wage increase was associated with an increased likelihood of obesity and elevated body mass index in working-age people of color. They also found that higher minimum wages were associated with a lower likelihood of hypertension among working-age men but higher likelihood of hypertension in working-age women.

Read the complete story here.

Kiyomi Taguchi, UW News video producer: ktaguchi@uw.edu / 206-685-2716
Jake Ellison, UW News PIO: jbe3@uw.edu / 206-543-1969