Minimum wage since 1938
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.
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.