Ben Carson on minimum wage during GOP debate: Would not raise it to ensure 'people are able to enter the job market'; Marco Rubio says increase would make 'people more expensive than a machine' - @HuffPostPol
Photo: 'Fight for 15' protesters block traffic near Seattle's Pike Place Market during a nationwide day of action to raise the minimum wage; Seattle approved a plan last year to raise the city's minimum wage to $15 by 2017 - @JTreece406
The minimum wage in the United States is set by a network of federal, state, and local statutes. Workers generally must be paid no less than the statutory minimum wage as specified by either the federal, state, or local government. As of July 2009, the federal government mandates a nationwide minimum wage level of $7.25 per hour. Effective January 1, 2015 there were 29 states with a minimum wage higher than the federal minimum. From 2014 to 2015, nine states increased their minimum wage levels through automatic adjustments, while increases in 11 other states occurred through legislative or ballot changes. The federal minimum wage peaked at about $10 in 1968, as measured in 2014 inflation adjusted dollars.
On March 26, 2014, Connecticut passed legislation to raise the minimum wage from $8.70 to $10.10 by 2017, the first state to address President Obama's call for an increase in the minimum wage. In 2014, a number of U.S. cities, including San Francisco, Seattle and Los Angeles, approved the gradual raising of their minimum wages to $15 an hour. On July 1, 2018, San Francisco will become the first U.S. city to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour. Los Angeles and Seattle won't have minimum wages of $15 an hour until years later.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated in 2014 that raising the minimum wage to $10.10 and indexing it to inflation would increase the wages of 16.5 million workers in 2016, while raising it to $9.00 without indexing would affect 7.6 million. Among workers paid by the hour in 2013, 1.5 million were reported as earning exactly the prevailing federal minimum wage. About 1.8 million were reported as earning wages below the minimum. Together, these 3.3 million workers with wages at or below the minimum represent 2.5% of all workers and 4.3% of hourly workers.