A national debate is underway in the United States over whether to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour from the current $7.25 an hour today, as more than 30 million U.S. citizens now live below the poverty line.
The last time the U.S. increased the hourly federal minimum wage was in 2009. According to economists and advocates, the $7 an hour rate in at least 20 U.S. states is to blame for the increase in poverty in the nation. However, in some states it’s legal to pay even lower than the minimum wage. For example, in the state of Wyoming, some residents are paid as little as $5.15 an hour or even less. And they haven’t seen a wage increase in 20 years.