Minimum Wage Has Not Kept Pace With Inflation

In a chart that should not surprise anyone who has read this blog (or read anything in the media in the past six months, for that matter), a new chart from Bloomberg shows that minimum-wage workers are worse off now than they were in the 60s, even as the minimum wage has risen by more than 400 percent.

That’s because inflation has outpaced minimum wage increases so now it’s like minimum-wage workers are making 20 percent less than they were in 1967.

Thanks to increases over the past four years, that figure is better than it would have been: in 2007, before federally mandated wage increases took effect, minimum-wage workers were making 41 percent less, adjusted for inflation.

Of course, as Bloomberg points out, with so many people willing to take any job due to the poor economy, employers now have little incentive to increase wages.

Eight states — Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont and Washington — will increase their minimum wage by between 28 cents and 37 cents an hour effective Jan. 1. Workers in Washington State will then receive the highest minimum wage, of $9.04 per hour.