The federal minimum wage is currently set at $5.15 an hour. Approximately 7.3 million people (5.8 percent of the workforce) in the United States try to survive on this amount, but is it enough? A full time worker (40 hours a week), earning minimum wage, makes $9,888 a year. The poverty level for a one-person household is $9,800. If two people in a family of four are both making minimum wage, and have two children, their annual income is $19,776. The poverty level for a four-person household is $ 20,000. A one-person household is $88 dollars above poverty level, barely scratching and surviving, and the four-person household is $224 dollars below poverty level.

Employers know if the federal minimum wage is increased, the labor market would tighten and job cuts may result. Employers might have to raise prices to cover costs and sales would drop.

Minimum wage is supposed to be a starting point; providing workers with an incentive to move upward in the workforce.

Still minimum wage is not indexed to inflation and when adjusted for inflation, $5.15 is currently worth 26 percent less today than it was in 1979. Perhaps it is time Congress looks seriously at resolving the difference.

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