The nation's minimum wage hit its lowest point in relation to the average wage in the country since 1949, a new report by the Economic Policy Institute and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has found.
Today, the minimum wage equals just 32% of the average private sector, nonsupervisory wage. During the 1950s and 1960s, the minimum wage equaled about 50% of the average wage. The purchasing power of the $5.15 an hour minimum wage has decreased by 17% since it was last raised in 1997.
Unions and Democratic congressional leaders are taking action, trying to bring minimum wage increase legislation to a vote. Two recently introduced bills would raise the minimum age to $7.25 an hour in three steps over 26 months.
Here's more from the source, from the Economic Policy Institute:
The real value of the minimum wage peaked in 1968, when it was equivalent to a wage of $7.54 an hour. During the 1970s, the wage floor averaged $6.71 an hour in today's dollars.
But the economy is recovering. This should fit nicely into Neil Boortz's vision of a post-catastrophic relief effort; with so many more poor, that's fewer rich folks to have to save.