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
The minimum wage in the United States is set by a network of federal, state, and local laws. Employers generally must pay workers the highest minimum wage prescribed by federal, state, or local law. As of July 2016, the federal government mandates a nationwide minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. There are 29 states with a minimum wage higher than the federal minimum as of October 18, 2016. From 2014 to 2015, nine states increased their minimum wage levels through automatic adjustments, while increases in 11 other states occurred through referendum or legislative action. In real terms, the federal minimum wage peaked near $10 per hour in 1968, using 2014 inflation-adjusted dollars.
On March 27, 2014, Connecticut passed legislation to raise the minimum wage from $8.70 to $10.10 by 2017, making it one of about six states to aim at or above $10 per hour. In 2014 and 2015, several cities, including San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Washington passed ordinances that gradually increase the minimum wage to $15. On July 1, 2018, San Francisco is expected to become the first U.S. city to reach a minimum wage of $15 an hour. Los Angeles and Washington D.C. will reach the $15 mark in 2020.
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 reportedly earned the federal minimum wage. About 1.8 million were earning wages below the minimum. Together, these 3.3 million workers earning at or below the federal minimum represent 2.5% of all workers and 4.3% of hourly workers.