Infographic: The Federal Minimum Wage: What’s Next?


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This infographic was submitted to us by HRdirect, who also provided a description:

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), workers in the United States must be paid at least a minimum wage — currently set at $7.25 an hour. While states and municipalities have the power to establish higher wages — for example, Washington is $9.32 and San Francisco is $10.74 — the federal minimum wage creates a base level for most employees. The only exceptions to the rule are certain tipped employees, full-time students, youth workers and disabled workers.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1.6 million hourly workers earned the federal minimum wage in 2012, with nearly 2 million more earning less than the minimum because they fell under one of the above exemptions. More than half of minimum wage employees work in the leisure and hospitality industry, followed by retail, education and health services.

The design gives a good history of how we reached today’s federal minimum wage. A few of the data points keep a good short amount of text (for example, 1935 and 1981-1990) but many of them are a bit wordier than is desirable on an effective infographic. When possible, images and data visualization should speak louder than the copy. And if larger chunks of copy are necessary, it’s best if the design has a bit more room to breathe so that the pieces of text don’t live right next to one another.

In all I’d give this infographic a C since it’s got good information, but needs to work harder on making the visual elements more prominent.

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