Minimum Wage Fight – Historically, $9 an Hour is Higher than Average but Hardly Unprecedented

by Categorized: Business, Data, Finance, Politics, Poverty Date:

Gov. Dannel Malloy’s proposal to increase the minimum wage in Connecticut to $9 an hour over the next two years predictably has brought strong reactions from those who find it a boost for the working poor that will energize retail sales and those who see it as a jobs killer that will hurt small businesses.

But how does that $9 figure compare historically over the 62 years the legislature has been setting the minimum wage in Connecticut? Higher than average, but hardly unprecedented.

As the chart below shows, Connecticut’s minimum wage, in inflation-adjusted dollars, topped the equivalent of $9 an hour for most of the 1960s and ’70s, reaching a peak of $10.63 in 1971. But for the past 34 years, the minimum wage has been set below the equivalent of $9.

Both Malloy’s proposal, and the current minimum wage, are far more than the buying power set by the first legislatively established minimum wage in 1951, when the statutory 75-cent wage was the equivalent of $6.71 an hour in today’s dollars. Inflation ate away at that value until the legislature raised the minimum wage in 1957, and since then, the wage has fallen below the equivalent of $6.71 an hour only once – in 1995.

When the legislature has boosted the minimum wage – as they have done more than two dozen times since 1951- the new rate on average has been the equivalent of $8.78 an hour. Malloy’s proposal exceeds that by 22 cents, or about $450 a year for a full-time worker.


The Courant is using Facebook comments on stories. To comment on articles, sign into Facebook and enter your comment in the field below. Comments will appear in your Facebook News Feed unless you choose otherwise. To report spam or abuse, click the X next to the comment. For guidelines on commenting, click here.

8 thoughts on “Minimum Wage Fight – Historically, $9 an Hour is Higher than Average but Hardly Unprecedented

  1. Lee Brim

    If the Democrats really want to help the poor they should embrace economic policies that promote private sector growth.

  2. Carlo Herzbrun

    A powerful share, I simply given this onto a colleague who was doing a bit of analysis on this. And he actually purchased me breakfast as a result of I discovered it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I really feel strongly about it and love studying extra on this topic. If doable, as you change into experience, would you thoughts updating your weblog with extra details? It’s highly useful for me. Big thumb up for this blog submit!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *