The Federal Minimum Wage Rate

1774 Words8 Pages
Concerning the wage rate, the United States government has intervened to maintain a lower limit on the hourly wage rate of a worker’s labor by implementing a price floor known as the minimum wage rate. This legal floor on the market price of labor sets a minimum hourly pay rate for workers in the United States. Effective July 24, 2009 the federal minimum wage rate is $7.25; in states that also have minimum wage laws the employee may be subject to both federal and state minimum wage laws, in which case they are entitled to the higher minimum wage rate (U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division, 2011). Since the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was created in 1938 the federal minimum wage rate has gradually increased from $0.25 in 1938 to $7.25 present (U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division, 2011). Although continuing to increase the minimum wage rate may include potential positive factors, it would hinder the U.S. economy overall. President Barack Obama has recently proposed an increase in the minimum wage rate to $10.10. With the increase of minimum wage there are both potential benefits and costs. One of these costs is the risk of employers being forced to lay off workers due to their fixed budgets. In the short run the price of labor is a fixed cost, and when this fixed cost increases dramatically it has a major impact on the controlled budgets of employers. The increase in the cost of labor is also paired with an increased cost in higher taxes for business
Open Document