When President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed America’s first federal minimum wage into law in 1938, it was 25 cents per hour. Adjusted for inflation, that would be worth about $4.45 today.
Scroll over the chart to see the US federal minimum wage through history, and what it would be worth in today’s dollars.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics and Department of Labor
Note: Figures adjusted to 2018 dollars using the CPI-U
Throughout history, Congress has raised the minimum wage 22 times. The current level, at $7.25 an hour, was set in 2009.
Cities and states have the option of setting their own minimum wages. As of January 2019, 29 states had a minimum wage rate above the federal level.