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10 Not-So-Fun Facts About the Minimum Wage

10 Not-So-Fun Facts About the Minimum Wage

It's time to raise the minimum wage. The majority of America's working families (80%) agree. Earlier this year, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) introduced a bill that would raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. 

Here are 10 facts you need to know from NELP and the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) about the minimum wage:


How much the federal minimum wage would be if it had kept up with inflation over the past 40 years. Instead, it’s $7.25. Learn more.


The annual income for a full-time employee working the entire year at the federal minimum wage.


The number of states where a minimum wage worker can afford a two-bedroom apartment working a 40-hour week. Learn more.


The number of times Congress passed legislation to increase the minimum wage in the past 30 years.


As of Jan. 1, 2015, the number of states (including the District of Columbia) that will have raised their minimum wage above the federal level of $7.25. Source


The number of states that annually increase their state minimum wage to keep up with the rising cost of living, or that have scheduled annual cost-of-living adjustments to begin in the next three years. Source


The percentage of Americans who support gradually raising the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to at least $10.00 an hour, according to a June 2014 poll.

55 in 100 vs. 4.8 in 100

What are the chances an adult minimum wage worker is a woman vs. the chances a Fortune 500 CEO is a woman? Learn more.

55 to 69

The range of the victory margin in favor of minimum wage increases across four states (Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota) where the issue was on the ballot in November 2014. Source


The federal minimum wage for tipped employees, such as waiters and waitresses, nail salon workers or parking attendants.

Learn more about the minimum wage here

Editor's Note: Figures updated Dec. 12, 2014. 

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