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.