minimum wage

The very lowest salary an employer can legally pay a worker is the minimum wage. Some states have a higher local minimum wage than the one set by the federal government.

The first U.S. minimum wage was established in 1938 by Franklin D. Roosevelt, part of a plan to improve working conditions. It was 25 cents per hour, the equivalent of about $4.60 today. By 1968, the minimum wage had increased to $1.60, approximately $12.00 in 2020 dollars. The federal minimum wage, which is $7.20 in 2021, continues to protect workers, although many advocate for higher minimum wages in line with increased costs of rent, food, education, and other living expenses.

Definitions of minimum wage
  1. noun
    the lowest wage that an employer is allowed to pay; determined by contract or by law
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    type of:
    earnings, pay, remuneration, salary, wage
    something that remunerates
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