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World Governments Test Minimum-Wage Raises

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From Athens to Seoul, governments around the world are increasing the minimum wage, seeking to assuage voter concerns over years of weak pay growth and rising inequality.

How high can the minimum wage go before the costs outweigh the benefits?

The answer could emerge as several major economies test a key threshold: A pay floor above 60% of their median wage levels.

If the wage is set much above that threshold, it could reduce the incentives of firms to hire low-wage workers and lead them to automate work instead, offsetting the economic benefits of higher pay for minimum-wage workers.

In the U.K., Finance Minister Philip Hammond indicated in March that he wants to push the country’s minimum wage above 60% of median pay for workers aged 25 and over. South Korea’s government has already increased the national minimum wage by about 30% since 2017, to $7.20 per hour, or around two-thirds of median pay, according to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a think tank for developed countries.

Democrats in Congress are considering a bill that would more than double the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, or almost 70% of the median U.S. hourly wage. Six U.S. states have already unveiled plans to reach that threshold soon, including California and New York.


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NY's is odd, its 15 an hour for everyone in the city at this point, while Long Islands is 14, and by 2021 the rest of the state will be 12.50 and then will go up annually by a currently unknown number because it relies on economic factors till it gets to 15, which is fine, but by the time it gets there its going to need to be raised in the city, lol.

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