Re “The minimum-wage battle in Alabama” (Editorial, Aug. 22):

A recent Anniston Star editorial suggests that Alabama’s decision to set minimum wage policy at the state level is unfair to black workers. In fact, data shows that young black men faced unequal harm from wage mandates.

A 2011 study by economists William Even of Miami University and David Macpherson of Trinity University found that for every 10 percent increase in the minimum wage, young black men with low levels of education saw a 6.5 percent decrease in employment, while their white counterparts’ employment decreased by only 2.5 percent.

The effect is similar for hours worked: following minimum wage increases, young black men saw their hours reduced two times more than white young adults.

Proponents of wage hikes should consider that minimum wage mandates more often than not harm those they are intended to help.

Samantha Summers

Communications Director

Employment Policies Institute

Washington, D.C.