$7.25 -- still the minimum wage one year later

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By Diane Stafford
Kansas City Star, Jul 24 2010

Today, July 24, is the date that last year’s federal minimum wage hike went into effect.

The wage floor, which went up in a three-step process to $7.25, has no further increase scheduled.

From 1997 to 2007, the minimum wage had been $5.15 an hour. Congress passed legislation that raised it to $5.85 in 2007, to $6.55 in 2008, and to $7.25 in 2009.

The Let Justice Roll Living Wage Campaign is using the anniversary date to publicize the relative buying power of the minimum wage.

In real terms, it’s lower now than the minimum wage of 1956, which was $8.02, adjusted for inflation, the campaign notes.

You don't care because you make more than the minimum wage?

Here's what the living wage campaign has to say about that:

"The minimum wage sets the wage floor, affecting workers up the ladder. Today, four out of six occupations employing the largest number of workers nationwide -- including retail salespersons, cashiers and food preparation and serving workers -- have a median wage that is lower than the minimum wage of 1968, adjusted for inflation (half make less than the median, half make more). It would take $10 to match the buying power of the minimum wage at its peak in 1968."

Food for thought.