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US Minimum Wage among World's highests

US Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013
[ See World map and also World comparison chart at the foot of this report ] 

US Workers demand higher minimum wages 2013  Oct. 10.─ Earlier this year, President Obama called for an increase in the federal minimum wage - to at least $9 an hour. President Obama has also proposed indexing the minimum wage to inflation, so it would increase when the cost of living increases. A new poll reports that 80% of Americans - including 92% of Democrats, 62% of Republicans and 80% of Independents - are in favor of raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour and indexing it to the cost of living.

In addition, Christine Owens, Executive Director, National Employment Law Project (NELP), has issued a statement calling for an increase in the minimum wage saying, "It's clear what needs to be done. It's time to raise the federal minimum wage--raise it over time to $10.10 an hour. Boost the guaranteed minimum wage rate for tipped workers, which has been stuck at $2.13 since 1991. And index the overall minimum wage to the cost of living."


The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 has been introduced in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. If passed, it would raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour by 2015 ...


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World Minimum Wages Map 2013 

Note: U.S. minimum wage (before the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 is approved and enacted) may appear not so generous to unskilled workers as compared with the minimum wages of Australia or France, nominally at $16.00 and $11.73 respectively, prompting American fast food workers to go on strike to demand that level of pay. But the fact is (see chart below) that they do not take into account the cost of living and other factors in those countries. Melbourne, where 20% of Australians live, is the most expensive place in the world, close to Tokyo and about 36% higher than New York, one of the most expensive cities in the US. As for Paris, cost of living is 28% higher than New York.  At the bottom of the list would be countries like Cuba, paying an hourly rate of 1.50 Cuban pesos, equivalent to a minimum hourly wage of 6 cents (US$0.06), not enough to show (not even in red) in the map above.

Minimum Wages Around the World (2012, OECD)

Country PPP Exchange Rate  
($ per hour)
Ordinary Exch. Rate
($ per hour)
Luxembourg 10.37 13.35
France 10.17 11.73
Australia 9.77 16.00
Belgium 9.46 10.99
Netherlands 9.25 10.47
Ireland 8.97 10.93
United Kingdom 8.24 9.38
New Zealand 8.17 10.73
Canada 7.59 9.85
USA 7.10 7.10
Austria 6.50 7.23
Japan 6.29 9.24
Slovenia 6.12 5.50
Israel 4.88 5.69
South Korea 4.86 3.98
Spain 4.55 4.63
Greece 4.28 4.28
Poland 4.19 2.56
Turkey 3.95 2.69
Portugal 3.83 3.49
Hungary 3.47 2.42
Slovak Republic 3.19 2.38
Czech Republic 3.04 2.15
Chile 2.80 2.15
Estonia 2.53 2.06
Mexico 0.80 0.55