Employment wages are sums of money paid for a
specified quantity of labor. When expressed as
an amount of money for a specific time frame it is
The wage rate is usually the most important aspect
of negotiation with regards to the employment
A salary is an employment wage that is
normally not paid by the hour but more often at a
monthly or annual rate. The term, salary,
derives from an earlier time when employee wages
included, among other things, salt.
Wages in the United States are
mostly market driven and heavily dependent upon the
number of jobs available versus the number of
qualified workers available to fill those jobs.
Hourly wages in the U.S. vary depending upon the job
requirements and worker availability and can vary
from a minimum wage of a few dollars per hour up to
one hundred dollars per hour or more.
Minimum wage rates have been
established by federal and state governments in an
effort to prevent exploitation of low skilled, low
Minimum Wages In The United
The first minimum wage established by the federal
government was $0.25 per hour as established by the
National Recovery Act of 1933. The U.S.
Supreme Court decided in 1935 that the law
establishing the minimum was was unconstitutional
and it was abolished until 1938 when Congress passed
the Fair Labor Standards Act again establishing the
minimum wage at $0.25 per hour again which amounted
to $3.22 in 2005 dollars. The federal minimum
wage reached its highest purchasing power in 1968
when it was set at $1.60 per hour or $8.85 in 2005
During the 1990's states local
jurisdictions were allowed to set their own minimum
wage above that established by federal statute.
Some states and cities have enacted legislation that
increases the minimum wage above federal levels.
The most notable is the City of San Francisco which
currently has the highest minimum wage of any
jurisdiction in the United States.