Minimum Wage Around the World

At both the state and federal levels, campaigns to raise the minimum wage are gaining momentum. Last month, congressional democrats proposed a new bill to raise the federal minimum wage to $12 by 2020. And, the Fight for $15 movement has been heating up since it began in November of 2012. In more than 200 towns and cities, April 15, 2015 was marked by the largest protests by low-wage workers in the nation's history. But where does all of this leave the U.S., in comparison to other countries?

Ivar’s Restaurants Up Minimum Wage Ahead of Seattle’s $15 per Hour Mandate

Ivar's, a seafood chain based in Seattle, deals a little differently with the usual problems facing restaurants. For example, most companies, faced with the challenge of generating PR, just whip up more creative ads. A few years ago, Ivar's did that ... and then put them at the bottom of the ocean. The organization put out the rumor that their late founder, Ivar Haglund, had placed billboards under Puget Sound. The signs, which were supposedly placed in 1954, bore slogans like: "Ivar's Chowder. Worth surfacing for. 75? a cup." Ivar's latest trick is no hoax: while some business owners have protested Seattle's minimum wage hike to $15 an hour minimum wage, the restaurant is rolling out a new, higher wage structure to staff before the phased deadlines.

The Minimum Wage Increased in 20 States This Month

In 20 states and the District of Columbia, the New Year meant higher wages for the lowest-paid workers. For states like Arkansas, Hawaii, Maryland, Nebraska, South Dakota, and West Virginia, the hike means that minimum-wage employees will make more than the federally mandated minimum of $7.25 an hour for the first time ever.

Franchise Owners Upset About Seattle’s Minimum Wage Laws

Seattle's new minimum wage of $15 per hour is more than twice the current federal minimum wage of $7.25. Some say businesses will suffer and employers will be unable to hire workers. Franchise owners in Seattle have an additional gripe: many are claiming that franchises are unfairly grouped under the umbrella of large businesses.

University President Shares Salary With School’s Lowest Paid Workers

It’s not everyday that a college president decides to take a $90,000 pay cut for the benefit of low-wage workers. Last week however, Raymond Burse, interim president of Kentucky State University, did just that. His decision sets a new precedent amongst presidents and CEOs to raise the bar on livable wages for employees.

Higher Minimum Wage Correlates With Job Growth

One of the biggest arguments against raising the minimum wage has been a pay hike's potential impact on job growth. Many business groups argue that employers won't be able to hire more people if they can't offer low wages. However, recent data from the Department of Labor shows that this might not be the case. Twelve of the 13 states that raised their minimum wage since the beginning of the year have experienced more job growth than lower-wage states.

Is There a Downside to a $15 an Hour Minimum Wage?

The International Franchise Association has made defeating Seattle's $15 per hour minimum wage its "top policy fight," arguing that laws like these unfairly discriminate against franchisees, who will be lumped in with big businesses and forced to comply with the law by 2017, the earliest deadline of the staged roll-out. PayScale spoke via email with Chad Mackay, President and COO of El Gaucho, a high-end steakhouse chain based in Seattle, for his take on how the law could affect both businesses and workers.

The Future of Minimum Wage: More Money, But No More One-Size-Fits-All

At the beginning of the month, Seattle's city council voted unanimously to increase the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour in stages over the next three to seven years. To get a business owner's perspective on the issue, we spoke via email with John Pepper, co-founder and former CEO of Boloco, a Boston-based restaurant chain with 22 units across New England. Pepper told us a bit about why a higher minimum wage isn't necessarily bad for business and what else needs to change for small businesses to thrive while paying their workers higher wages.