Low-wage Workers Are Older and Better Educated than Ever

By By John Schmitt and Janelle Jones
Center for Economic and Policy Research, Apr 30 2012
Relative to any of the most common benchmarks – the cost of living, the wages of the average worker, or average productivity levels – the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour is well below its historical value. These usual reference points, however, understate the true erosion in the minimum wage in recent decades because the average low-wage worker today is both older and much better educated than the average low-wage worker was in the past.

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