Low-wage Workers Are Older and Better Educated than Ever
Relative to any of the most common benchmarks -- the cost of living, the wages of the average worker, or average productivity levels -- the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour is well below its historical value. These usual reference points, however, understate the true erosion in the minimum wage in recent decades because the average low-wage worker today is both older and much better educated than the average low-wage worker was in the past.

2012