US minimum wage paychecks worth less than 1950s incomes when adjusted for inflation, report says

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The value of the federal minimum wage has reached its lowest point in 66 years, according to a recent report from the Economic Policy Institute.

An employee earning today's federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour earns 27.4% less in inflation-adjusted terms than an earned paycheck in July 2009 when the minimum wage was last increased, according to the report.

The last federal minimum wage increase was on July 24, 2009. The duration of time since the last minimum wage increase has been the most prolonged period in U.S. history without an increase, the report states, adding that the current minimum wage has lost 21% of its value since Congress last raised it, citing data from the June Consumer Price Index (CPI).

According to the report, if Congress had continued to raise the minimum wage in line with productivity growth since the last minimum wage increase, the minimum wage today would be over $22 per hour. The highest point for minimum wage value occurred in February 1968, the report states, adding that, when adjusted for inflation, a person currently making the $7.25 federal minimum wage earns 27.4% less than a worker earning the same rate in July 2009 and 40.2% less than a worker earning the minimum wage in February 1968.

When adjusted for inflation, the report states that the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour is now worth less than at any point since February 1956.