School of Social Work Wage Study in the news

The Pittsburgh Wage Study Preliminary Findings were presented at a press conference Tuesday, December 5th led by School of Social Work faculty members Jeff Shook, Sara Goodkind, and Ray Engel. Most studies of minimum wage increases focus broadly on effects on employment, inflation, and employers, while relatively little research has examined the effects in the lives of workers and their families. This study aims to remedy that disparity. The initial findings of the multi-year study have shown that following the start of a wage increase to $15 an hour that workers negotiated through their union, low-wage workers while still experiencing hardships, experience them to a lesser degree. For example, after getting paid $15 an hour:

o          The number of workers who reported living paycheck-to-paycheck decreased by 9%

o          38% fewer workers reported having to seek financial help from family and friends

o          28% fewer workers reported hardships like not being able to pay utilities on time;

o          Additionally, fewer workers reported not being able to pay the rent or mortgage on time; having to cut meals, and owing medical debt.

You can read more about the study and follow the continuing media coverage by visiting