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Making the Federal Minimum Wage a Living Wage

Right before the Memorial Day recess, Congress finally passed into law, and President Bush signed, the first federal minimum wage increase in 10 years. The federal minimum will now rise in three steps up to $7.25 as of July 2009. This is a positive, but still very modest gain for low-wage workers in the U.S. In his 'Economic Prospects' column for New Labor Forum, PERI Co-Director Robert Pollin, evaluates the new minimum wage law and proposes a strategy for bringing the federal minimum much closer to a living wage standard.

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