Don't Bet on a Minimum Wage Increase

Congress is unlikely to pass a federal minimum wage increase, but other factors may boost wages to help workers keep up with inflation.

A young, male worker takes inventory in a warehouse full of boxes
(Image credit: Luis Alvarez for Getty Images)

The current $7.25 federal minimum wage is a “national disgrace,” according to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. And he does make some valid points. The minimum hourly wage hasn’t been adjusted higher since 2009 and, in case you haven’t noticed, after two years of post-COVID inflation, a dollar doesn’t go as far as it used to. Based on CPI inflation, $7.25 in 2009 would be equivalent to about $10.25 in today’s dollars.

You might remember the “fight for $15” rallying cry from a few years ago in response to the low wages prevalent in the fast food sector. Well, in light of recent inflation challenges, Senator Sanders now advocates for a federal minimum wage increase to $17 per hour

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Charles Lewis Sizemore, CFA
Contributing Writer, Kiplinger.com

Charles Lewis Sizemore, CFA is the Chief Investment Officer of Sizemore Capital Management LLC, a registered investment advisor based in Dallas, Texas, where he specializes in dividend-focused portfolios and in building alternative allocations with minimal correlation to the stock market.