Minimum Wage

A minimum wage is an hourly wage floor that applies universally in the jurisdiction where it is applies.


The federal legislation passed in 2006 set the minimum wage at a rate of $5.85 per hour. The same bill increased the federal minimum to $6.55 per hour on July 24, 2008, with an additional increase to $7.25 per hour in 2009, where it remains.

As of January 7, 2017, 29 states, plus the District of Columbia, have wage floors above the federal level.

At its core, this is an economic issue. But itís much more than that; it's also an issue that touches on businessesí rights; social/moral fairness; competitiveness; wage compression; and higher consumer prices. The ambiguity is further exacerbated by the fact that economists who have studied the subject cannot agree on the economic and employment impacts of an increase in the minimum wage.

Proponents of an increase argue that hiking the minimum wage is not only necessary to improve the lives of millions of workers and their families, but that it also improves the economy by increasing purchasing power and creating more stability for the middle class. However, opponents believe that an increase disproportionately affects small businesses and that such a move would be counterproductive by decreasing opportunity for the young and lower-skilled looking to enter the workforce.One thing is certain, the discussion isnít going away

ACCE Resources

General Resources

Convention & Seminar Resources

  • Workplace Legislation Landscape - Presentation handout from Lauren Doroghazi, Senior Policy Associate, MultiState Associates Inc.; Tom Pierson, President & CEO, Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber. From the 2016 ACCE Convention.

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Last Updated: 1/11/2017