- Most Viewed
- By Topic
- EBRI Bibliography By Topic
- Data Book
- Facts from EBRI
- Fast Facts
- Issue Briefs
- Policy Books
- President’s Reports
- Press Releases
- Special Reports
- Benefit Bibliography
- Benefit FAQs
- Links to Other Internet Resources
- Reference Shelf
- Special Issues of Periodicals
- What’s New in Employee Benefits
History of the Minimum Wage
- 1938 -- The minimum wage was first enacted into law as part of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938. The original minimum wage applied to workers engaged in interstate commerce and the production of goods for interstate commerce. In 1938, this applied to roughly 11.0 million workers out of a total of 54.9 million workers. The minimum wage was set at $0.25 per hour.
- 1961 -- Amendments to the minimum wage law extend coverage primarily to employees in large retail and service trades as well as local transit, construction, and gasoline service station employees.
- 1966 -- Amendments to the minimum wage law extend coverage to state and local government employees of hospitals, nursing homes, and schools and to employees of laundries, dry cleaners, large hotels and motels, restaurants, and farms. Subsequent amendments extended coverage to the remaining federal, state and local government employee not protected in 1966, to certain workers in retail and service trades previously exempted, and to certain domestic workers in private household employment.
|Minimum||Average||Minimum as Percentage||Minimum||Average|
|Wage||Wage*||of Average||Wage in 1997 $||Wage in 1997 $|
|1938||$0.25||$ 0.62||40.3%||$2.87||$ 7.11|
*Average hourly earnings for manufacturing workers.
For more information, contact Ken McDonnell, (202) 775-6342, or see EBRI's Web site at
www.ebri.org. Source: EBRI Databook on Employee Benefits, fourth edition, 1997.
- 401(k) Valuations Published: April 3, 2015 401(k) Balances and Changes Due to Market Volatility
- Data Book Last Updated: February 2013 A comprehensive collection of the most up-to-date benefit information available