If you were working your first job flipping burgers or washing cars in the '60s, you might have been earning $1.60 an hour — the federal minumum wage in 1968. If you worked for minimum wage in 1980, you would have been getting $1.50 more.
Today, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, and Rep. George Miller wants it to be raised to $10.10. Washington State, meanwhile, requires employers pay minimum wage at the highest rate in the country — $9.19 an hour.
If you time-traveled back to the 1930s when the first minimum wage was established in America, you'd be earning a quarter an hour.
That made us recollect our own first job and how much we made (cleaning horse stalls in Bridle Trails, $1.50 per hour). So we posed the question to our friends on the Kirkland Patch Facebook page, and got some fascinating answers:
- "Packing cherries; Cascadian Fruit Shippers ; Wenatchee summer of 1960; 14 years old 75 cents per hour."
- "Farrell's dishwasher 1971 $1.55/hr."
- "Dominoes $7.15 an hour! The Army (now) probably pays me less than Dominoes."
- "Sunshine Pizza in Houghton $5.35hr 1982."
- "1968 - dishwasher at the Rim Room at SeaTac, $1.60/hr (equivalent to $10.50 in 2012 dollars)."
- "First job in 1982, $2 an hour as a skating rink snack bar cashier. I think I got a quarter raise with the "promotion" to cashier at the front window. It was just the beginning of a long tradition of underestimating my own worth."
- "Worked at Kingsgate Daycare and Preschool for $2.00 an Hour and then 7-11 making slurpees for $2.25"
- "BB's This and That in Redmond for 1.25 an hour. Probably under the table. LOL."
Do you remember working for minimum wage? What was it and what did you do? Please share your experience below.