RELEASE: New Analysis Shows Minimum-Wage Workers Have Lost Nearly a Full Year’s Salary to Inflation Since 2009

Washington, D.C. — In advance of today’s House Education and Labor Committee hearing on Democrats’ Raise the Wage Act of 2019, which would gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2024, the Center for American Progress has released a new estimate that shows that minimum-wage workers have lost almost a year’s pay due to inflation since Congress last took action in 2009.

Inflation has steadily eroded minimum-wage workers’ pay. As a result, full-time, year-round workers earning $7.25 per hour will take an effective pay cut of $2,578 this year alone. Over the past 10 years, lawmakers’ refusal to act has cost America’s lowest-paid workers nearly $13,330—just shy of the $15,080 that a full-time worker earning $7.25 per hour takes home annually.

“Every year that Congress fails to act, America’s lowest-paid workers experience a deeper and deeper pay cut,” said Rachel West, director of research for the Poverty to Prosperity Program at the Center for American Progress. “Lawmakers should stop the more than $13,000 in losses—and counting—by passing a long-overdue increase in the federal minimum wage.”

Click here to read “Minimum-Wage Workers Have Lost Nearly a Year’s Salary to Inflation” by Rachel West.

For more information or to speak to an expert, contact Julia Cusick at or 202.495.3682.