What is the history of the minimum wage? Background from official sources A minimum wage is the lowest wage that employers may legally pay to workers.
In addition to prohibiting child labor and mandating the hour workweek, the FLSA established the federal minimum wage to help ensure that all work would be fairly rewarded and that regular employment would provide a decent quality of life.
Moreover, regular increases in the minimum wage were meant to ensure that even the lowest-paid workers benefited from broader improvements in wages and living standards. Yet today, because of decades of infrequent and inadequate adjustment, the federal minimum wage no longer serves as an adequate wage floor.
Every year that the minimum wage is left unchanged, rising prices slowly erode its buying power. In fact, the real inflation-adjusted value of the federal minimum wage in was 24 percent below its peak value in Over that time, the United States has achieved tremendous improvements in labor productivity that could have allowed workers at all pay levels to enjoy a significantly improved quality of life.
In AprilSen. The report concludes with a discussion of the provisions of the Raise the Wage Act that would index the minimum wage to median wages, and gradually eliminate the subminimum wage for tipped workers.
It would also reverse the growth in wage inequality between low- and middle-wage workers over the past generation. The workers who would receive a pay increase do not fit the stereotypes of low-wage workers.
The average age of affected workers is 36 years old. A larger share of affected workers are age 55 and older About two-thirds of affected workers are 25 years old or older. The majority of affected workers Workers of color would disproportionately be affected, with more than one-third of black and Hispanic workers receiving a raise.
Of workers who would receive a raise, the majority More than one-third The workers who would benefit are, on average, the primary breadwinners for their family, earning more than half Indexing the minimum wage to median wages would ensure that low-wage workers share in broad improvements in U.
These increases have been fairly irregular, varying in size and with differing lengths of time between increases. Yet aside from a few very brief deflationary periods in the postwar era, prices have consistently risen year after year.
Each year that the minimum wage remains unchanged, its purchasing power slowly erodes until policymakers enact an increase. This haphazard maintenance of the wage floor has meant that low-wage workers of different generations or in different decades have been protected by significantly different wage standards.
Figure A shows the nominal and real value of the minimum wage from its inception in to today, as well as U. As the figure shows, in the first increase following the end of World War II, the minimum wage rose rather dramatically in real terms, nearly doubling overnight infollowed by regular increases that kept pace with rising labor productivity until the late s.
Increases in the s essentially held the value of the minimum wage in place despite higher inflation driven by oil and food price shocks. Yet in the s, as inflation remained elevated, the minimum wage was left to deteriorate to s levels.Building on the momentum of the Fight for $15 and the goals of the Raise the Wage Act of , state and national advocates will call on members of Congress to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 by , and to gradually eliminate the sub-minimum wages for tipped workers and disabled workers.
A wealthy venture capitalist who fought for raising the minimum wage in Seattle is on a mission to increase pay across America.
Among all wage-earning women in the United States, percent—more than one-in-three working women—would receive a raise under a federal minimum-wage increase to $15 by In comparison, percent of all wage-earning men would benefit—not as large a share as for women, but still nearly one fourth of all working men. If you go back and look at the United States Department of Labor’s historical minimum wage, the minimum wage was $ in If Congress had increased the minimum wage every year in keeping with a 3% annual inflation level, today’s minimum wage would have only increased to . Dec 29, · Across the country, many Americans will ring in with a raise. On December 31 and January 1, the minimum wage will go up in 18 states and about 20 cities and counties, according to an analysis.
for raising the minimum wage across the United States. Oct 22, · Commentary and archival information about minimum wage from The New York Times. has reached an agreement with the company to raise the minimum starting wage.
all over America. Regional. The Raise the Wage Act of would gradually raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by Here is how it would work: This fact sheet was produced in collaboration with the National Employment Law Project.
Wage and Hour Division (WHD) History of Federal Minimum Wage Rates Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, - The table of federal minimum wage rates under the Fair Labor Standards Act, - is also available in a PDF Version. New York became the second state to pass a new law that would raise the minimum wage in New York City to $15 per hour by the end of Washington D.C.
followed suit, enacting a law to raise the minimum wage in the District to $15 per hour by July 1, On April 4, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 3 into law.