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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.


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