Although a Dead Issue, the Minimum Wage Is Up

By Joseph Lawler

Via Timothy Taylor, Danlu Hu has created charts that show clearly the rise in the minimum wage over the last few years, folllowing the President Bush-signed gradual increase from $5.15 to $7.25. The real minimum wage is now higher than it has been since the early '80s:

And although the U.S. has a lower minimum wage than many other developed countries, it's also increased it the most over the past half-decade:

Taylor delves into the question of why there isn't much of a push for an increase in the minimum wage anymore. One possible answer is that the labor market is a lot tighter than it was in 2007, when Bush signed the increase. If raising the minimum wage does indeed create unemployment, as critics suggest, the effects would be much worse now, with the country facing high uemployment and stagnant wages.

Joseph Lawler is editor of RealClearPolicy. He can be reached by email or on twitter.

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