Tags: Minimum Wage | US State Facts | Wisconsin | minimum wage | rank

Where Does Wisconsin's Minimum Wage Rank Nationally?

By    |   Saturday, 28 Nov 2015 11:35 PM

The minimum wage in Wisconsin is the same as the federal minimum wage at $7.25 per hour. However, this doesn’t mean that the minimum wage in Wisconsin reflects the national average. In fact, many states have a minimum wage that’s higher than the federal rate.

Wisconsin is one of 14 states that have a state minimum wage that’s equal to the federal wage, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Five others have no state wage, which means the federal rate applies there. A majority of states, however, have a minimum wage that’s higher than the federal wage, according to the National Council of State Legislatures. This includes 29 states and Washington, D.C.

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According to Governing.com, 5.3 percent of hourly workers in the state earn at or below the federal minimum wage. Of those, 59,000 earn at the minimum wage. While the state’s minimum wage meets federal requirements, some critics have said it does not constitute a living wage, which Reuters said Wisconsin state law defines as "sufficient" to provide earners with "reasonable comfort, reasonable physical well-being, decency, and moral well-being."

Indeed, some states have raised their minimum wage to more adequately reflect cost of living in that area. Some states have a minimum wage as high as $9.47 per hour. In 2014, five states voted to raise their minimum wage, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. This includes Alaska, which plans to raise its minimum wage to $9.75 by 2016; Arkansas, which plans to raise it to $8.50 by 2017; Illinois, which plans an increase to $10.00 in 2015; Nebraska, with an increase to $9 in 2016; and South Dakota, which plans an increase to $8.50 in 2015.

There have been efforts in recent years to raise the minimum wage in Wisconsin. In 2015, for example, Rep. Melissa Sargent (D-Madison) introduced a bill that would raise Wisconsin’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 over a five-year period, as reported by the Badger Herald.

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Sargent pointed out that the state’s current minimum wage was not enough to allow people to support themselves, saying “Wisconsin’s hardworking people are really the people that … are barely making enough to make ends meet in the current system.”

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The minimum wage in Wisconsin is the same as the federal minimum wage at $7.25 per hour. However, this doesn't mean that the minimum wage in Wisconsin reflects the national average. In fact, many states have a minimum wage that's higher than the federal rate.
Wisconsin, minimum wage, rank
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2015-35-28
Saturday, 28 Nov 2015 11:35 PM
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