The ever-changing minimum wage (1970 – 2018)

The interactive map below depicts state minimum wages from 1970 through 2018, adjusted for inflation to 2017 dollars. States that appear or disappear have adopted or repealed minimum wage policies. Note the warning of the real value of minimum wages, particularly through the 1990s and 2000s.

While more states have adopted minimum wages since the 1970s, this animation demonstrates that inflation has tended to outstrip these wage increases. For instance, the highest-paid minimum wage worker, earning a real wage of $12.50 in the District of Columbia in 2018, still makes less than the highest-paid minimum wage worker earning a real wage of $13.27 in Alaska in 1970.

Considering the effect of inflation, the federal minimum wage of $7.25 is of less value today than some wages were in the 1970s. State-level increases have helped restore value to minimum wages over the last decade.

U.S. state minimum wages

Via Storymaps

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