10 Facts on the Minimum Wage

On the anniversary of the last time the federal minimum wage was increased to $7.25, it's timely to go over some basic facts on the minimum wage.

Here are 10 important figures to remember when we talk about the minimum wage:


How much the federal minimum wage would be if it had kept pace with productivity (i.e., how much we can produce, on average, for an hour’s worth of work) over the past 48 years. It would grow to more than $19 per hour by 2017. 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 working person can afford a one-bedroom apartment working a 40-hour week—without paying more than 30% of their income. Learn more.


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


As of Jan. 1, 2016, 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 (including the District of Columbia) that annually increase their state minimum wage to keep up with the rising cost of living, or that have scheduled automatic cost-of-living adjustments to begin after achieving a meaningful minimum wage. Source.


The percentage of Americans who support gradually raising the minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to at least $12.50 per hour by 2020, according to a January 2015 poll. The same poll finds that 63% of Americans support an increase to $15 per hour by 2020.

62.6 in 100 vs. 4.2 in 100

The chance that an adult minimum wage worker is a woman vs. the chance that a Fortune 500 CEO is a woman.

55 to 69

The range of the percentage of voters who supported minimum wage increases across five states (Alaska, Arkansas, Illinois, 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.