As the figure shows, if the minimum wage had kept pace with average wages—i.e., if minimum wage workers saw their paychecks expand at the same rate as the average worker—it would be about $10.50 today. If the minimum wage had kept pace with productivity[i]—i.e., the economy’s overall capacity to generate income— it would be almost $18.75 today. Finally, imagine if workers at the very bottom were seeing the same kind of raises as workers at the very top. If the minimum wage had gone up at the same rate as wages for the top 1 percent, it would be over $28 per hour.[ii]
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Notes: