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A history of minimum wage: Is it time to raise it?

  • President Obama wants to raise minimum wage for some people to $10.10
  • The federal minimum is currently set at $7.25
A history of minimum wage: Is it time to raise it?

It's been more than four years since the U.S. minimum wage was increased, and President Barack Obama wants to raise it to $10.10 for some federal government employees. 

"Today, the federal minimum wage is worth about 20% less than it was when Ronald Reagan first stood here," Obama said during his State of the Union address on Tuesday night.

In 1981, the minimum wage was $3.35 an hour. If you adjust that for inflation, that would be $8.59 an hour today. The federal minimum wage is currently set at $7.25. 

Republicans are against raising the minimum wage because they believe doing so will place a hardship on employers and businesses. 

Take a look back at the history of minimum wage:

1938 minimum wage was $0.25

1939 minimum wage was $0.30

1945 minimum wage was $0.40

1950 minimum wage was $0.75

1956 minimum wage was $1.00

1961 minimum wage was $1.15

1963 minimum wage was $1.25

1967 minimum wage was $1.40

1968 minimum wage was $1.60

1974 minimum wage was $2.00

1975 minimum wage was $2.10

1976 minimum wage was $2.30

1978 minimum wage was $2.65

1979 minimum wage was $2.90

1980 minimum wage was $3.10

1981 minimum wage was $3.35

1990 minimum wage was $3.80

1991 minimum wage was $4.25

1996 minimum wage was $4.75

1997 minimum wage was $5.15

2007 minimum wage was $5.85

2008 minimum wage was $6.55

2009 minimum wage was raised to $7.25

Do you think it's time to raise the minimum wage again?

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