The purchasing power of the minimum wage has dropped to the lowest level in 50 years, but a bill passed yesterday will bring some relief to working Americans at last. The hike $5.15 per hour to $7.25 over two years will provide an income of around $15,000 per year (depending on overtime and time off). The current minimum wage provides an annual income around $10,700, only $500 more than the poverty line for one person. The new minimum wage is enough that one person could keep a family of two above the poverty line (though not by much).

This means that fewer Americans will have to rely on federal assistance, because they will be earning a wage that can sustain their families. That’s good for everyone.

Comments

  1. #1 daenku32
    May 27, 2007

    Thanks for pointing this out. I had totally missed this since hearing about the passing of the war funding bill. I guess this hike is within the funding bill?

    Anyways, it has been interesting watching wage hike opponents make both assertions that “very few work at minimum-wage” and that “very many will lose their jobs because of this”. All in the same breath. Our unemployment is very low and employers complain that they need immigrants workers because of worker deficit, I seriously doubt anyone is going to go unemployed because of this.

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