A Matter Of Opinion

Minimum wage and history

Dave Oliveria has an interesting question over at Huckleberries Online. What's the lowest wage you worked for?

For me, it was $1.50 an hour. I was 14.

This graphic shows the buying power of a minimum wage salary through the years. The high point was $1.60 an hour in 1968. Check the graphic to see if your lowest wage translates to something that is better than today's minimum wage, which is:

* $8.07 an hour in Washington state.
* $5.85 in Idaho, which is the same as the federal rate.

That $1.60 in 1968 is equivalent to $9.47 today. You can use this calculator to adjust your lowest salary for inflation.

My $1.50 translates to $8.15 today. So at age 14, I was making more than an adult does with the minimum wage in Washington by 8 cents an hour and by over 2 bucks an hour in Idaho.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
« Back to A Matter Of Opinion

A Matter of Opinion is really a matter of three opinions – those held by the people responsible for the opinion pages of The Spokesman-Review. Check in regularly to find out what they’re up to, what they think and where they differ and to joust with them if you want.





Contact the Spokesman

Main switchboard:
(509) 459-5000
(800) 338-8801
(509) 459-5400
(800) 789-0029
Customer service:
(800) 338-8801