Minimum Wage Facts

Minimum Wage Facts
Minimum wage represents the lowest wage that an employer is legally allowed to pay an employee. Workers are also not allowed to work for less than this amount. Minimum wage has its supporters and those who oppose it. Those who support a minimum wage believe that it reduces poverty, increases the employee standard of living, and boosts employee morale and reduces inequality in the workplace. Those who oppose it believe that it actually increases poverty and unemployment, damages businesses, and increases the cost of goods. Many countries have minimum wage laws in effect to ensure that people are paid at least a minimum for their work.
Interesting Minimum Wage Facts:
Minimum wage laws today can be traced back to the 1349 Ordinance of Labourers set by King Edward III. He set a maximum wage in medieval England to cap the cost of labor during a labor shortage. The labor shortage was a result of the Black Plague killing so many people.
The early maximum wage was later changed to determine a living wage. In 1389 the fixed wages were set to coincide with the price of food.
In 1604 the Act Fixing a Minimum Wage was passed by King James I for textile workers.
In the early 1800s the Statute of Labourers was repealed and labour unrest began. Unions began to form to protect employees.
New Zealand and Australia were the first to use modern legislature to set minimum wages, which they did in the 1890s.
Setting minimum wages was believed to be a way to stop sweatshops from paying employees so little that they remained very poor.
New Zealand set their first minimum wage laws in 1894; Australia followed in 1896; the U.K. followed in 1909.
The United States did not set a national minimum wage until 1938.
90% of the countries worldwide have national minimum wage legislation or collective bargaining in place.
Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, Finland, and Sweden do not have minimum wages but they use other methods to ensure that employees are paid a living wage.
Minimum wage does not guarantee a living wage. Many people who work full time and earn minimum wage do not have enough money to survive. They sacrifice certain bills, or food quality, or do not have things like health insurance because they do not make enough money.
Some believe that when minimum wages are in place the employment rate may fall more than the wage increases, resulting in a reduction in earnings by the population.
India has a very complicated minimum wage rate system, with over 1200 different minimum wage rates.
In the United States, Massachusetts and California have the highest minimum wage rates than any other states.
When minimum wages are raised, often more people lose their jobs because small businesses and the larger businesses that don't want to lose money reduce the number of employees. This makes poverty numbers increase.
Research has shown that in the United States, most people surpass minimum wage within the first year through raises and/or advancement on the job.

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