Federal Minimum Wage 2012

In 2007 the Federal minimum wage was at $5.15 per hour. It has risen each year until 2009 when it settled at $7.25 per hour.

What will the federal minimum wage for 2012 be? Different states have different minimum wages of their own, however; and different rules having to do with their minimum wages. Such as in Georgia for example, if you are a tipped employee, the tips and the wage must equal the minimum wage which is at the state rate of $7.25 as of 2009. In Oregon though, tips do not count towards your minimum wage, so it allows you to get paid more by not including tips.

Looking at different minimum wages rates for each state I realize how difficult it would be for a family to live off these low rates. With unemployment rates so high these days imagine prospective employees looking for a job, and being met with a pay rate such as this. If you’re a person who is on unemployment, what you receive from unemployment may be larger than a paycheck you would get making minimum wage. So where would the incentive be to quickly get a job? There isn’t, a person would take their time and try to find a job that’s worth their while, with good pay, benefits also. And keep living off the unemployment system while trying to find something that would make a real difference in their monetary lives.

Keeping in mind that all states are different, there’s usually a cut-off point for very small employers, and the minimum wage does not apply. In Arkansas you have to have more than four employees to have to pay the minimum wage. In Georgia you have to have more than six employees to pay the mandatory minimum rate. In Massachusetts if you get tipped more than $20.00 per month then your minimum wage drops to $2.63 per hour, however; your combined tips and hourly pay is mandatory to meet the minimum wage rate when combined.

There are formulas that the government and other agencies use to decide what the minimum wage should be. They call this a cost of living formula. In this formula a person or family should be only paying 30% of their income on rent or mortgage. With the price of rentals rising it’s hard to imagine a person making minimum wage could ever find living arrangements where the cost would equal no more than 30% of their pay.

January 2009 poverty guidelines show that for a family of five, the poverty level is hit when that family is making less than $25,790 per year. And 30% of this is $7,737 per year for housing, if we’re going by the cost of living formula. So $644.75 per month you can spend on housing alone, for five people. If you want a 3 bedroom house in Minneapolis you’re going to be paying around $1,000.00 per month, usually more. That’s not close to the 30% that we‘re looking for. I found in Seattle there were only a couple two bedroom homes in the $800-900 range, but that can be close quarters for a family of five.

Wage makes a huge difference in life for the average American. It widens the gap between the rich and poor. It can mean the difference in a person renting a house or a small apartment. Decisions that affect daily life are made because of how much money a person can earn, and right now earnings are not doing very well in society, the majority of our population is struggling. This can be seen by the demonstrators in the many states who are protesting against the super-rich running the country. People are outraged by management of money and people by our government and various entities. What’s Federal minimum wage for 2012?