Policy Basics: The Minimum Wage

Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, August 27, 2014

Minimum wage laws set the lowest hourly rate an employer can legally pay workers covered under the law. The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour. Where states and municipalities have enacted their own, higher, minimum wage laws, employers must pay at least the state or local minimum. As of August 1, 2014, 23 states and the District of Columbia have minimum wages above the federal minimum wage.

This Policy Basic explains various aspects of the minimum wage, including:

∙ Who Is Covered by the Minimum Wage?
∙ Who Is Paid the Minimum Wage?
∙ History of the Minimum Wage
∙ Economic Effects of Raising the Minimum Wage
∙ Current Proposals