Our Declining Minimum Wage
This chart comes from the Economic Policy Institute.
In the Classroom
Potential questions for students to explore:
What does "adjusted for inflation" mean? How might the graph look different if it wasn't adjusting for inflation?
Was the federal minimum wage actually $11.12 in 1968? Justify/explain your answer.
How many hours/year does this graph assume the average person works?
What types of jobs are most commonly paid at the minimum wage?
In which year - 2021 or 1968 - would it likely be harder for a minimum wage earner to care for their family? Justify your answer.
Use the graph to make a mathematically sound argument for why the federal minimum wage should be increased.
Explore the racial and gender composition of minimum wage earners in the U.S.
Compare decline in value of minimum wage to increase in CEO compensation
Use the data to make predictions about the relative value of minimum wage in 10 years
Explore how to convert 1938 dollars into 2021 dollars
How Would You Use This?
How would you use this graph in your classroom? Comment below.