Friday, June 24, 2011

US Labor Available At 25 Cents Per Hour

From "Will Work for 25 Cents an Hour! How bad is the job market? Tom Weber chronicles the lowest hourly wage that Americans, and others around the world, will accept for an hour of work." by Thomas E Weber on the Daily Beast:
To find out this country’s real minimum wage—the market-proven low that U.S. workers will accept for an hour’s work—The Daily Beast designed an experiment. Over several weeks, we used Mechanical Turk, an online marketplace for freelance work operated by, to post simple, hour-long jobs to see how much or how little we’d need to pay workers.
Each time a worker accomplished the task, we reposted the job at a lower wage, and repeated as necessary until we found the absolute bottom price that gave us takers. To make sure that one particularly desperate person didn’t skew the results, we would only consider a bottom wage that had three different workers who accepted and completed the task (we checked their results for accuracy to make sure they definitely completed the assignment).
The United States of America, where we were able to hire three workers to do our job for a shockingly low figure: 25 cents an hour.
Read the complete article here.

The brief, small experiment does raise questions about labor price stickiness, minimum wage effects on our current high unemployment and the labor market clearing price.

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