Is the minimum wage relevant right now?

My radio appearances of late discuss inflation and wages with some regularity. There are also discussions about the minimum wage, in particular how it is not keeping up with inflation. This is pretty much a fact right now, but there are other issues to confront as well. Some discuss the original intent of the minimum wage and the role it has currently.

These are not unimportant considerations but there is another factor to consider right now. With the high demand for labor, in some cases the outright fear by business that they lack workers, wages in many places are rising much higher than the minimum wage. It is not univeral, and I am sure we can always find people making the minimum wage. However, it seems less a binding constraint right now. As evidence, I offer up this photo:

Pay tied to age of the worker is a strategy I had not yet seen. I had a chance to take a few trips this summer and there are all types of strategies attempting to lure workers. I see all kinds of efforts to induce workers to come, including high pay, on the job training, college funding, and so on.

The key point is that even the low advertised pay in this advertisement is $10 per hour, above the minimum wage level. As age increases so does the amount too. This actually might be an effort to avoid making existing workers jealous of new hires coming on at more favorable terms with potentially less experience.

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