Raising the minimum wage not only improves lives, but could also save lives, according to the Newspaper Seine. A $1 increase in the minimum wage could reduce suicide rates among high school and below-high-schoolers by 3.5 to 5.9 percent, the most pronounced during periods of high unemployment, according to a study published Monday in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in December 2019 that U.S. businesses have a serious suicide problem, with 304 workplace suicides in 2018, up 11 percent from the previous year and the highest since statistics began 26 years ago.
Researchers at Emory University analyzed data from 50 U.S. states and Washington from 1990 to 2015 and found that raising the minimum wage could reduce suicide rates. The researchers say their research could help low-income groups with less education but a high risk of mental illness to reduce their suicide rates.
Suicides are often desperate, and despite strong economic growth in recent years, preventable deaths, including those linked to suicide, alcoholism and drug overdoses, have been a major factor in the three-year decline in life expectancy in the United States.
A 2019 report by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, found that a 10 percent increase in the minimum wage could reduce suicide rates by 3.6 percent among the higher Chinese. Other studies have found that higher minimum wages can also reduce smoking rates, neonatal obesity rates and employee sick leave rates.
Researchers at Emory University say they are trying to explain the implications of raising the minimum wage because chronic financial constraints affect people’s well-being.
The 29 states and the District of Columbia have lower minimum wages than the federal minimum of $7.25, and 20 other states have set higher minimum wages in the past two weeks.
If the federal minimum salary is only paid, employees earn $15.08 million a year, below the federal poverty line of $16.02 million for a family of two.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, the number of people dying from despair in the United States has increased, with higher mortality rates than other categories of deaths, and policymakers should focus on the spread of overdoses, not just the economy, according to a report released by the Senate Economic Committee.
A spokesman for Mike Lee, chairman of the Senate Economic S. Committee, said they were aware of studies that said suicide rates were lower in states with lower minimum wages than federal standards. But that conclusion means that if the federal minimum wage is raised and the state’s standards remain unchanged, the state’s suicide rate will rise.
He said there had also been suggestions or that suicide rates could be reduced by eliminating the federal minimum wage, but he thought it was nonsense.