Tags: minimum wage | Obama | raise | 9

Proposed Minimum Wage Increase Would Still Leave US Workers Trailing Counterparts

By Glenn J. Kalinoski   |   Friday, 15 Feb 2013 01:57 PM

The lowest-paid U.S. workers would continue to lag behind their counterparts in many industrial countries if President Barack Obama’s proposal to boost the minimum wage to $9 an hour is passed.

Data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) show nine nations where the minimum wage is more than $9 per hour, according to CNNMoney.

Australia has the world’s highest minimum wage, at $16.91 an hour.

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Several European nations also pay far above the minimum in the United States. France has boosted its level to $12.68 per hour, while U.K. workers earn at least $9.50 per hour.

While Canada does not provide a national minimum wage, the lowest provincial level is in Alberta, where workers are paid at least $9.73 per hour. Those in Yukon receive at least $10.27 per hour.

Eight nations have no type of minimum wage, according to OECD, including Italy and Germany. Some nations have very low minimums that are established on a monthly or weekly basis, rather than per hour.

Monthly minimums tend to be the rule in China. The highest is in the Shenzhen province, where workers receive about $240.49 per month. Beijing’s hourly minimum is $2.24. The government increased minimum wages across most of the country to 40 percent of the average salary by 2015.

“There are some developed economies with lower minimum wages than the United States, but not many,” CNNMoney stated.

In his State of the Union speech this week, Obama proposed raising the federal minimum wage to $9 per hour from $7.25 hour by the end of 2015. That would restore its real value to what it was at the beginning of the Reagan administration, according to a White House fact sheet.

An increase would impact 15 million workers. Obama also suggested indexing the minimum wage to inflation after 2015, according to the fact sheet.

The last increase in the minimum wage was in 2009. Although this was implemented in the first year of Obama’s presidency, it was the result of a 2007 law signed by President George W. Bush, Bloomberg reported.

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