How many hours of work does it take to buy a Big Mac? Well, it depends on where you live — and with Seattle’s recent increase in minimum wage, the gap between various minimum wages across the country continues to rise. While most states continue to hold on to a $7.25 per hour minimum wage, seven others have passed legislation to raise their minimum wages. When the dust settles and these new laws have come into effect, the disparity between states’ minimum wages will likely be even larger.
Is this a nationwide trend? It’s starting to look that way, and the movement is being spearheaded by President Obama, who said in a recent speech that he supports everyone who’s “working to give America a raise.” The Labor Department echoed that sentiment on June 12, when it proposed a rule to raise the minimum wage for federal workers to $10.10 per hour.
To illustrate the current state of minimum wage, Digital Third Coast created an infographic to depict how many Big Macs a minimum-wage employee could afford using the pay from one hour of work. The answer ranges from 1.82 Big Macs to just over two and a half. Some of the more progressive West Coast cities have the highest Big Macs-to-hours-worked ratio, with Seattle leading the way at 3.76 Big Macs per one hour of work once their newly minted minimum wage of $15 per hour takes effect in 2017.
Looking at this chart and reading between the lines of recent minimum-wage controversies, one thing is for sure: If President Obama, the Labor Department, and congressional Democrats have their way, minimum wages are about to get supersized.
Kristen Geil is a digital content writer/blogger at Digital Third Coast, a digital content marketing agency based in Chicago. Connect with Kristen on LinkedIn and Google+. Connect with Digital Third Coast on Google+.
Photo: JKCarl via Wikimedia Commons
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