How Much Did the Minimum Wage Drive Real Wage Growth During the Late 2010s?

Abstract: For much of the recent expansion, real wage growth was surprisingly sluggish, by some measures never reaching its pace prior to the 2008 financial crisis, despite tight labor markets that drove the unemployment rate to 3.5%. However, on average, the lowest-earning workers fared substantially better, consistently experiencing real wage growth of 6% or more for much of the late 2010s, a pace well above the previous two decades.

Keywords: Minimum wage; Wages; Covid-19; Labor market;

Access Documents


Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Part of Series: Chicago Fed Letter

Publication Date: 2020

Issue: 435