The lowest salary in the US is defined as the minimum wage, which is the lowest hourly rate that an employer can legally pay their employees. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, which has not been raised since 2009. However, many states and cities have their own minimum wage laws that are higher than the federal minimum wage.
As of January 2021, 20 states have minimum wages higher than the federal minimum wage. The highest minimum wage in the US is $15.00 per hour, which is in effect in several cities including Seattle, San Francisco, and New York City. Other states like California, have a minimum wage of $14.00 per hour. Minimum wage laws are put in place to ensure that employees are being paid a fair wage and to prevent exploitation by employers.
Despite minimum wage laws, many employees are paid less than a living wage, which is the amount of income needed to sustain a basic standard of living. According to the MIT Living Wage Calculator, the living wage for a single adult with no children in the US is $12.61 per hour, while the living wage for a family of four is $28.55 per hour.
The minimum wage has been a topic of debate among lawmakers and advocates for years, with arguments over whether or not it should be increased, and by how much. Advocates for a higher minimum wage argue that it would help low-income workers and reduce poverty, while opponents argue that it could potentially hurt small businesses and lead to job loss.
In recent years, there has been a push for a $15.00 per hour federal minimum wage. In February 2021, the Raise the Wage Act was reintroduced in Congress, which would gradually increase the federal minimum wage to $15.00 per hour by 2025. The bill passed in the House of Representatives, but its fate in the Senate remains uncertain.
In conclusion, the lowest salary in the US is currently $7.25 per hour, but many states and cities have their own minimum wage laws that are higher. Despite minimum wage laws, many employees are paid less than a living wage, which has sparked ongoing debates and efforts to increase the minimum wage to ensure that workers are being paid a fair wage.