The new year saw minimum wage hikes in 20 states and other cities. This wage hike is considered a shot in the arm for many essential and frontline workers who have no choice but to risk their health working with the public to make a living.
The largest increase was seen in New Mexico. A $1.50 hike to the state’s hourly minimum rate will increase to $10.50/hour. Increases of $1 an hour were added in Arkansas, California, Illinois, and New Jersey. Many states saw lower wage increases; Alaska, Maine, and South Dakota bumped their rate by only 0.15 cents an hour. Minnesota raised their rate a mere 8 cents, to $10.08 an hour.
Additional increases will occur in cities and several states, with most advances taking force on July 1.
2021 Minimum Wage Calculator for Any State
If you wonder what you would earn working minimum wage, we have this neat little calculator for you. Just fill in the blanks, and the calculated result reveals your gross earnings. This does not account for taxes and Social Security. Thinking of moving and want to move to a new state? Check out the results in multiple states and see the results. You may be surprised.
Even working a minimum wage job, you’re also earning credits for Social Security for disability or retirement. A person needs a minimum of 10 years of work to qualify for a social security benefit. You can check your Social Security benefits online.
The Current Federal Minimum Wage
The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. This minimum hourly wage was last changed in 2008 when it was raised $0.70 from $6.55 to $7.25.
The Federal Minimum Wage of $7.25 per hour is the minimum hourly pay any non-exempt worker in the U.S. can be paid for his work. The Federal Minimum Wage is applied nationally and cancels any state laws that give a lower wage rate to ensure that the local minimum wage in all states is at least $7.25 per hour.
Federal employers may not pay you under $7.25 per hour unless you or your job is explicitly excluded from the minimum wage under state or federal law.
History of the United States Minimum Wage
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed America’s first federal wage into law in 1938. The rate was $0.25 per hour. In 1950 the minimum wage had risen to $0.75 per hour. By 1968 it was $1.60 per hour. The rate was frozen at $3.35 per hour from January 1981 to April 1990. In 1997 it was $5.15 per hour. In 2009 the wage was raised to $7.25, where it remains to this day.
The Living Wage Concept
Contrast this to the other term, the Living Wage. Or the wage one needs to accommodate rent, food, utilities to live. The nationwide consensus is that one would have to earn $16.40 per hour to have a living wage. This wage varies by local, and there is a great deal of interest in its establishment.