2014 Minimum Wage Changes
In 1912, Massachusetts became the first place in America to introduce a minimum wage, a quarter century later, in 1938; the Federal government would catch up with the adoption of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Signed into law by Franklin Roosevelt, the act required hourly workers receive at least 25 cents an hour. After adoption the minimum wage would increase every few years at a rate above that of inflation, until the early 70’s, when the rate of inflation would overtake the growth of the minimum wage.
In 1968, the minimum wage was $1.60 an hour. In today’s dollars that would be equal to $10 an hour. Because of small or no increases, and inflation, employees currently make $7.25 an hour (about $15,000 per year), or $2.75 per hour less than workers made in 1968. In 1968 it took about 50 hours of work at minimum wage to pay rent, today it takes over 100 hours. For reasons like that, there is discussion about raising the Federal minimum wage to $10.00. The number currently being discussed is $9.88 an hour.
While debate continues on the federal level, several states are taking the initiative to raise their minimum wage above the federal requirement. A number of state minimum wage levels will increase starting in January of 2014. Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington will raise their minimum wage rates on January 1, 2014. California has scheduled its minimum wage increase for mid-year.
Current Minimum Wage
New Minimum Wage