7 Facts about the Minimum Wage

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Sunday, July 24, marks seven years since the last time the federal minimum wage was raised. Here are seven things you might not know about it:

1. It doesn’t go nearly as far today.
Since the last time it was raised – to $7.25 in 2009 − the cost of living has increased by nearly 12 percent. And its value has declined over the past few decades: since Ronald Reagan took office in 1981, the value of the minimum wage has fallen by nearly 20 percent, and since 1968 – when the purchasing power of the minimum wage was at its highest – its value has fallen by nearly 25 percent.

2. Historically, there has been bipartisan support for regular increases.
Since the federal minimum wage was established under President Franklin Roosevelt, 10 presidents − of both parties – have approved raises.
Animated map showing the 18 states that have raised the minimum wage, along with the District of Columbia

3. 18 states and the District of Columbia have taken action to raise their minimum wages since President Obama first called for an increase in January 2013. Numerous cities and localities have done the same.

4. The majority of Americans supports raising the minimum wage above $7.25.
A majority of business executives do, too, according to a leaked survey.

5. Companies large and small have raised wages for their lowest-paid employees.
A few of biggest include Ikea, Gap, Walmart, Target and T.J. Maxx.

6. Most workers who would benefit from a minimum wage increase are adults.
About 9 out of 10 are age 20 or over. More than half are women.

7. The federal minimum wage for tipped workers is even lower.
It's only $2.13 – and it hasn’t been raised since 1991.

Bonus fact: Seven recipients of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences say it’s the smart thing and the right thing to do.

Share this if you agree it's time to #RaiseTheWage for all hardworking Americans. Learn more at dol.gov/minwage.


Siete Cosas Sobre el Salario Mínimo

Por Tiffany Koebel

El pasado domingo 24 de julio se cumplieron siete años desde la última vez que se aumentó el salario mínimo federal. Aquí te presentamos siete ideas que te pueden interesar:

1. Hoy, ese salario mínimo rinde mucho menos.

Desde la última vez que se subió a $7.25 en 2009, el costo de vida ha incrementado en casi un 12 por ciento. Y el valor del salario mínimo ha disminuido en las últimas décadas. Desde que Ronald Reagan asumió el cargo en 1981, su valor ha caído en casi un 20 por ciento. Y desde 1968, cuando el poder adquisitivo del salario mínimo estaba en su punto más alto, ha caído en casi un 25 por ciento.

2. Históricamente, ha habido un apoyo bipartidista para los aumentos.

Desde que el salario mínimo federal fue establecido bajo el presidente Franklin Roosevelt, 10 presidentes -de ambos partidos- han aprobado aumentos.

3. 18 estados y el Distrito de Columbia han actuado para aumentar sus salarios mínimos desde que el presidente Obama instó por primera vez a un aumento en enero del 2013. Numerosas ciudades y localidades han hecho lo mismo.

4. La mayoría de estadounidenses apoya aumentar el salario mínimo por encima de $7.25.

La mayoría de los ejecutivos también, de acuerdo a una encuesta filtrada.

5. Empresas grandes y pequeñas han aumentado los salarios de sus empleados menos pagados.

Algunos de los más grandes incluyen Ikea, Gap, Walmart, Target y T. J. Maxx.

6. La mayoría de trabajadores que se beneficiarían de un aumento del salario mínimo son adultos.

Aproximadamente 9 de cada 10 tienen 20 años o más. Más de la mitad son mujeres.

7. El salario mínimo federal para los trabajadores con propinas es incluso más bajo.

Es de sólo $2.13, y no se ha incrementado desde 1991.

Y además: Siete galardonados con el Premio Nobel de Economía dicen que subir el salario mínimo es lo más inteligente y lo que hay que hacer.

Comparte esto si estás de acuerdo, que es hora de #RaiseTheWage para todos los Americanos.  Más información en dol.gov/minwage

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Mark, you are 100% correct. The same goes for supermarket jobs and other minimum-wage jobs. You take a job like that when young to have a few dollars in your pockets while still in school.
You are supposed to brake away from those jobs once you get an EDUCATION and find a grown-up job.

Every Job is grown up job.

You stand correct, the temporary minimum wage for tipped employees is $2.13, which has to rise to at least $7.25 when you add the tips. If it falls short, the employer has to make the difference.
One issue employers may have is that some workers do not report all the tips. That causes problems.

Minimum wage has been a controversial issues for years. I tend to believe that most minimum wage jobs are supposed to be "stepping stones" for those entering into the workforce such as a high school student. They hopefully rise in rankings and are able to make a decent wage after obtaining work experience and knowledge. A kid starting off as a helper in construction shouldn't make more than a plumber with years of experience. They have to learn and grown. I believe this is true with any industry.


You are absolutely correct. These jobs were never meant to support families. You get them at an young age to learn and develop good work practices. Those that want them to become jobs that the government artificially inflates wages so that they can provide a family income are not in the real world. If you get one of these jobs and expect to support a family with it, you have made some very bad decisions in life.

Mr. Marco: the minimum wage was ALWAYS intended to keep,a full-time worker out of poverty. As to you disparaging hard-working Americans struggling to feed their families in an economy rigged by the rich, and without good paying job opportunities, you should apologize.

The vast majority of our working citizens did not make "really bad life decisions", did they? They do not deserve your derision, ridicule and arrogance. They deserve fair opportunities to succeed. They create the profits that make corporate America wealthy beyond historical measure, and they deserve to fairly share in those profits. Your remarks trivialize their lives.

What does the minimum wage do to small businesses?

As an additional comment, I want to add the following: The minimum wage must be increased based on inflation, which is the purchasing power of the dollar. If now it is determined that due to inflation the rate per hour is too low, of course it must be raised. Now, please understand this, with raises based on inflation, you are just keeping up with inflation, which means that technically you are still making the same salary in proportion to the economy.
Perhaps the government should help provide training for people that are past the so called minimum-wage age (high school and college students). To earn a better living one mus have a skill and then experience. I mean, you have to have something to contribute so you can expect better compensation. Usually the way to improve is thru promotions or, if there is no room for promotion, moving to another company where there is room for improvement.
I just had my assistant read my two comments, because she used to work in the company's hotel as a maid while going to college. Now she is the company's bookkeeper and make more than double what she was making before and she will get more increases as her experience increases. Eventually she will become the top-gun in the company. Needless to say, she agreed with my comments because she is a living example of it.

Minimum wage jobs are meant for young people to help themselves while going to school to learn a profession or a trade of business. They are not meant for someone who has to support a family.
Wages are determined based on the type of work and the skill needed to perform it, not based on the financial needs of the employee. Responsible people study when they are young so that when they have a family they can earn enough to support the family. Unless a person has health problems, there is no reason why he or she cannot learn something in order to be able to support a family when older. We cannot expect to be paid $25 per hour for stacking cans in a supermarket shelf, just because we need that kind of money to live. You can begin doing such a job and perhaps, if you go to school and get an education become the supermarket manager in the future. That is how you improve yourself and make a better salary to support yourself or your family in your adult life.
I worked full time as a typist and a bookkeeper when I was young and studied at night and on weekends to become a CPA and make a decent living. It can be done, sometimes it is harder but in the end it pays.

Mr. Guzman,

You summed it up very well. Hard work pays off, but you have to be willing to pay your dues. We are becoming a nation hand outs. Some people posting here just won't admit it.

I couldn't have said it better myself!

It is incorrect to say the Fed tipped MW is $2.13. It is actually $7.25, with the employer responsible for making up the difference from $2.13, if the tips don't get that far. This careless use of language leads many to believe that the Fed minimum is actually $2.13 with tips being a bonus (if any). This leads to wage theft without the employee even knowing they have been robbed. We all need to be more careful in how we use language.

How to run a household when earning even $10 an hour?

You can't run a household on $10 hour and the jobs paying this were never meant to be held by people running a household. Anyone who is working at Macdonalds as their main source of income has made some really bad life decisions. These jobs are and always will be for teenagers or as a second source of income. To think otherwise is simply foolish.

Would you rather they be on public assistance? Not everyone makes inappropriate decisions based on some sort of character flaw. Many have been forced to make choices for mere survival. Not everyone is born with the proverbial silver spoon in their mouths monitarialy speaking or psychologically speaking. I guess that's why my chosen profession is that of a professional Social Worker.

Mark Marco, your comment is so ignorant that it almost hurts to have to explain why. A job is not put on the market nor is a wage set based on what age an employee is expected to be. Jobs and wages are based on skills required. In N' Out Burger is a fast food burger chain, the best I might add, which pays it's employees much more than the national food chainsand/minimum wage and if you've ever been in one you know why. Skills. But anyway, skillset is what matters, not age and anyone hiring based on age rather than skillset is a moron.

Also, IMO, the people working in fast food places, restaurants, etc. should be extremely well paid because they have such a direct impact on the health and wellness of the general public. For that reason, responsible, ethical, and highly skilled individuals should be working in these jobs. The fact that they do not is a mark on the businesses that fail to hire such workers.

I don't know what alternate universe you live in, but I know plenty of adults who work or have worked lousy jobs for $9 or $10 hr. They made poor life choices like getting laid off at 59, or having rectal cancer, or being left with two kids by a cheating husband who wanted a younger model. But YOU are way too superior to let anything like real life happen to you, aren't you?

You've made my point for me. If your 59 years old and don't have a plan if you lose your job, you've made bad decisions during your life. Everyone should be planning for such an event, especially as you get older. I was laid off at age 55, but during my life I got an education and was only out of work for 6 months. And don't tell me that not every one can get an education...Nonsense! I went to night school for 7 years but it was worth it. That's the trouble with this you and this country now.....No matter what decision I make in life, the government will provide. Well, that line of thinking has run up a $20 trillion deficit ( yes trillion ). The people who made good decisions in life and worked hard are expected to provide for those who did not. Wasn't like that years ago. It's a sorry state of affairs.

do a great job at work and get promoted.
Get an education.
Find a job that pays more.
I worked at a fast food place part time. I worked hard and did a great job. After just a few weeks I got promoted to trainer, then shift supervisor, then assistant manager and then to manager.
You can start at minimum wage and advance.

Well said

It is a travesty that anyone in this day and age would be paid $2.13/hr, even if they do get tips. Anyone working full time making $7.25/hr would be living in poverty, on welfare and probably resort to seeking out food stamps.

The average wage for a tipped employee in the restaurant business is closer to $16 an hour. And any good server is crushing that number. People need to get their facts straight (especially the DOL)

A person earning a "tip-wage", in your example $2.13 would never earn less than minimum wage...either the customer or the employer makes up the difference. It is reckless and irresponsible to suggest otherwise.

When will we help all Americans make their way to work with sustainable wages?

The State of Florida then punishes one if they lose their job. The amount of weeks one can collect unemployment insurance (if they qualify and trust me there that is the ultimate of a challenge) are greatly reduced. Then you must "prove" you are looking for employment and if you cannot prove that you are, then you continue to be punished over and over. While I am quite sure if some one out there would do a survey on the great State of Florida and truly ask the question, WHAT KINDS OF JOBS HAVE BEEN CREATED IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA (after all, Florida is the state to be in for jobs) ask the PEOPLE what they are finding and what they ARE NOT PAYING and then ask, WHAT A WONDERFUL PLACE TO BE, YES?

The government is set up in a way for everybody to success in America, and if you do not agree with that then you're agreeing that 8 years of Obama was a failure. Democrats want everything given to them without having to work for it and it's killing or economy. My parents were BROKE! And through out high school and college I had a minimum wage job. However, I also went to school for 5 years and I'm now making over 100k because I busted my butt and got things done. Yeah I have student loan debt that I pay for every month, but I'm happy to pay it knowing it got me to where I'm at. 15$ a hour is ridiculous to be flipping hamburgers at McDonald's! How can people think that is fair? We don't need to raise the wage, we need to raise motivation for Americans to work hard and make something of themselves instead of having everything given to them. Figure it out democrats.

Why don't you eliminate the sub wage exemptions? If you work you get minimum wage, end of discussion.

My personal feelings are that Tipped workers should receive minimum wages or more (employer to decide) and not be taxed won their tips. As a customer I can or may not give a tip based on their performance, it's my money I already paid taxes on it. Our government keeps taking more and more each year: That too is making more people struggle pay check to pay check not just the minimum wage levels.

We are not asking for a hand out ,we work hard for our money . All hands rise raise the wage now.

I left home at 17 from a large family with one income. I did what it took to make it, showing up to work without excuse. I took overtime when available. I worked multiple jobs through college, with a family to support. My efforts paid off and I have a job that I enjoy. I am not working at the lowest level of my company. I am 59 an eligible to retire after many years of investing in my skills and education. This is not the attitude today. The attitude "It's about me and my immediate needs, and I am entitled to it". I am of a minority class by the way.

Bonus fact: Seven recipients of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences say it’s the smart thing and the right thing to do.
Share this if you agree it's time to #RaiseTheWage for all hardworking Americans. Learn more at dol.gov/minwage.

Wait . . . this is a U.S. Government website, LOBBYING for a higher minimum wage??? USING TAXPAYER DOLLARS TO SUPPORT A POLITICAL AGENDA???

I might add -- cherrypicking facts. Nine Economics Nobel Prize winners support a higher minimum wage? Out of how many? Don't the OTHER Nobel Prize winners' views deserve mention??

I been at my job 10 yrs. When I started min wage was $6 something. I started at $7.25. I thought I had 1 up cause I was $1 over minimum wage. WRONG... I got my 25cents a year raise.. and guess whos making $9.75 now.. thats min wage now. 10 yrs n i make min wage. I have only a associates degree that I paid all my loans back for. I work in a nursing home. Not a nurse of course. Thought bout going back to school but I work 9-5 my job wont switch my times cause I wanted to go to night school. I gotta pay my bills. Some people just have better opportunities and resources than others. But that's no reason to put someone down. I fell stupid. 10 years not even at $10

Increasing the federally mandated minimum does not improve the majority of lives of those existing at the poverty level. Most minimum wage earners are not typically the primary wage earners in a household, in fact only about 12% of the population living in poverty would be impacted by an increase to $9.50 an hour. An increase in minimum wage will increase labor costs for business and some businesses and non-profits operate on a narrow profit margin. To cope with increasing labor costs, some companies such as; fast food restaurants and manufacturing companies are moving towards automation. The move to automation means there will be fewer minimum wage jobs available. The best solution needs to examine more than just wage setting and look to what training needs to be in place to fill jobs in the future.

Y'all are all old and born in a completely different time. Do you really just think all people these days are lazy?

My mom is a single mother of my 2 sisters and I. Even with two jobs, both higher than minimum wage, she is still struggling between necessities and providing a semi-okay life for us. She has worked from age 18 to current (35) and still managed to barely scrape by some times. I believe that minimum wage should be raised to support families. They should raise it to a living wage- a wage where a small family can live off of. Sure, I do believe that minimum wage should be for teens in high school and college students, but some people have a symptom called Sticky Floor Syndrome. They actually cannot move to a place of higher pay due to lack of education. Some people can't afford higher education, such as college.

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