The Disappointing Truth About Minimum Wage

Katie Sweeney

Minimum wage is an often-discussed topic in the media and among politicians, but one thing that they're not talking about is an incredibly sad truth: To actually live a decent life earning minimum wage ($7.25 per hour), you’d have to work around the clock. Fast Company reports that it would take 93 hours a week to earn a living. Note that there are 168 hours total in a week, and 93 hours is more than double the standard 40-hour work week.

Three million people earn exactly minimum wage or less, and “none of these people can get near the living wage and must work significantly more than 40 hours a week,” writes Ben Schiller. Most of these people are “workers who service other workers” employed in fast food chains, restaurants, retail stores, or childcare centers.

While the minimum wage is higher in some areas, the cost of living in these places is more expensive, so it doesn’t really make much difference.The story does not provide a solution to this issue, but sometimes simply acknowledging that there is a problem is the first step toward solving it. 

Learn more about minimum wage by reading What Does the Minimum Wage Do?

Do you know someone living on a minimum-wage salary? How do they get by?

Opening image: Jenny Gage + Tom Betterton

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