Minimum Wage


Minimum Wage
The minimum amount of compensation an employee must receive for performing labor. Minimum wages are typically established by contract or legislation by the government. As such, it is illegal to pay an employee less than the minimum wage.

The minimum wage attempts to protect employees from exploitation, allowing them to afford the basic necessities of life. The minimum wage rate fluctuates between countries, and sometimes between states or provinces.

Minimum wages have drawn strong criticism from many economists, since it establishes a price floor on wages. Price floors can lead to a dead weight loss in the economy, which means that inefficiencies exist. In this case, the minimum wage might force companies to hire fewer employees, thus increasing unemployment.

As of July 2008, the U.S. federal minimum wage rate was $6.55/hour. However, in states where the state minimum wage is higher than the U.S. federal minimum wage, workers must be paid the higher minimum wage.


Investment dictionary. . 2012.

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  • minimum wage — n: a wage fixed by contract or esp. by law as the least that may be paid either to employees generally or to a particular category of employees compare scale Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • minimum wage — ➔ wage * * * minimum wage UK US noun [C, usually singular] ECONOMICS ► the lowest amount that employers can legally pay employees: »He earns the minimum wage of $5.50 an hour. above/below the minimum wage »30,000 workers were still being paid… …   Financial and business terms

  • minimum wage — n [singular] the lowest amount of money that an employer can legally pay to a worker ▪ Most of the junior office staff are on the minimum wage (=being paid the lowest legal amount) …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • minimum wage — n. 1. a wage set by contract or by law as the lowest that may be paid to employees doing a specified job 2. LIVING WAGE …   English World dictionary

  • minimum wage — ► NOUN ▪ the lowest wage permitted by law or by agreement …   English terms dictionary

  • minimum wage — noun singular or uncount the smallest amount of money that an employer is legally allowed to pay a worker …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Minimum wage — A minimum wage is the lowest hourly, daily or monthly remuneration that employers may legally pay to workers. Equivalently, it is the lowest wage at which workers may sell their labour. Although minimum wage laws are in effect in a great many… …   Wikipedia

  • minimum wage — the lowest wage payable to employees in general or to designated employees as fixed by law or by union agreement. [1855 60] * * * Wage rate established by collective bargaining or by government regulation, specifying the lowest rate at which… …   Universalium

  • Minimum wage —    The minimum rate that an employee can be legally paid is referred to as the minimum wage. The minimum wage law was first introduced in the United States in 1938 (at $.25 per hour), although the state of Massachusetts had declared a minimum… …   Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry

  • minimum wage — noun the lowest wage that an employer is allowed to pay; determined by contract or by law • Hypernyms: ↑wage, ↑pay, ↑earnings, ↑remuneration, ↑salary * * * noun [singular] : an amount of money that is the least amount of money per hour that… …   Useful english dictionary