Labor Events and Resources Blog


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Inflation and the Real Minimum Wage: A Fact Sheet

 

Congressional Research Service (CRS)

 

Inflation and the Real Minimum Wage: A Fact Sheet

Craig K. Elwell, Specialist in Macroeconomic Policy

Linda Levine, Specialist in Labor Economics

February 26, 2013

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42973.pdf

[full-text, 4 pages]

 

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938 established the hourly minimum wage rate at

25 cents for covered workers.1 Since then, it has been raised 22 separate times, in part to

keep up with rising prices. Most recently, in July 2009, it was increased to $7.25 an hour.

Because there have been some extended periods between these adjustments while inflation

generally has increased, the real value (purchasing power) of the minimum wage has decreased

substantially over time.

 

 



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