Amid potentially significant economic growth where the US has enjoyed roughly 10 years of economic expansion, the US federal minimum wage has gone a record length of time without an increase, with the $7.25-an-hour base, remaining unchanged for nearly a decade. That $7.25 in 2009 is valued at only about $6 in 2019. The cost of living has soared 18% since the last increase
For minimum-wage workers who have a 40-hour work week, and work 52 weeks without having any unpaid time off, this equates to just $15,080 annually. Lawmakers approved the last increase on 24 July 2009. The number stands in sharp contrast to what some researchers believe is an average living wage. Two working parents in a family of four would need to earn $67,146 to cover expenses. That equates to $16.14 an hour for each parent.
Twenty-one states reportedly use the federal minimum wage as their base. More than 24 cities and states have enacted higher minimum wages, however. In Massachusetts, for example, the baseline is $12 an hour. In New York City, workplaces with more than 11 employees must pay at least $15 an hour.