Minimum wage laws set the lowest hourly rate an employer can legally pay workers covered under the law. The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour. Where states and municipalities have enacted their own, higher, minimum wage laws, employers must pay at least the state or local minimum. As of August 1, 2014, 23 states and the District of Columbia have minimum wages above the federal minimum wage.
This Policy Basic explains various aspects of the minimum wage, including:
- Who Is Covered by the Minimum Wage?
- Who Is Paid the Minimum Wage?
- History of the Minimum Wage
- Economic Effects of Raising the Minimum Wage
- Current Proposals
July’s solid jobs report shows a labor market that’s moving in the right direction but still has a ways to go before everyone who wants to work has a reasonable chance of finding a suitable job. Long-term unemployment (more than 26 weeks) remains a particular problem, and Congress dealt the long-term unemployed a harsh blow when it allowed federal emergency jobless benefits to expire prematurely at the end of last year. Seven months later, long-term unemployment remains higher than when any of the previous seven emergency unemployment programs expired after previous recessions. In addition, the share of the population with a job remains well below where it was at the start of the recession.
- July’s Jobs Report in Pictures
- Chart Book: The Legacy of the Great Recession
- Emergency Jobless Benefits Cut-Off Has Hit Nearly 300,000 Veterans
- Where Things Stand for the Unemployed
- Key Things to Know About Unemployment Insurance
- How Many Weeks of Unemployment Compensation Are Available?
- Unemployment Insurance
A recession is a significant decline in the size of the U.S. economy lasting more than a few months, normally visible in a variety of economic indicators. Economic stimulus policies aim to avert a recession or lessen its severity by boosting the economy in the short term. The unemployment insurance system helps people who have lost their jobs by temporarily replacing part of their wages, typically for up to 26 weeks.
- The Legacy of the Great Recession
Paul Van de Water
The Center examines the impact of changes in the economy on federal and state budgets, as well as the likely effectiveness of economic stimulus proposals. We also examine trends in employment and promote reforms to strengthen the unemployment insurance system.
August 29, 2014
Updated August 28, 2014
August 27, 2014
Updated August 25, 2014
August 1, 2014
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