The American Minimum Wage In International Perspective

The graphic below plots national minimum rates across the OECD, both as a share of each country’s median and average wage and in real U.S. dollars. As a share of median or average wages, the U.S. minimum trails the pack—well behind our richer peers, and most of the poorer cousins in the OECD as well. At the U.S. exchange rate, the U.S. minimum trails all the other rich countries; and at U.S. purchasing power (a more stable measure) it trails all but Japan in that group. From “The Bare Minimum: Labor Standards and American Inequality,” Dissent (March 2014)

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