Minimum wage is a popular topic, with the #raisethewage campaign well underway, during both this midterm election and the elections to come. Amidst the number crunching and the protesting, various politicians have begun discussing the United States’ minimum wage as compared to other industrialized nations. The evidence they have presented shows the US lagging in their pay rates.
Currently, the federal minimum wage is set at $7.25/hr. Using strict foreign currency exchanges, Germany’s newly federalized minimum comes close to the US, at 8.50 euros per hour. That roughly converts to approximately $10.67 per hour. France rings in at 9.53 euros which converts to $12.35 per hour. Australia has an established minimum wage of 16.87 Australian dollars which comes to about $14.81 US per hour.
Now compare that with the cost of living in each of those countries. The cost of living in Australia and France is much higher than in the US. Therefore, when you adjust for those factors, the purchasing power of that $12.35 per hour in France gets reduced to $10.60 per hour. In Australia, $14.81 per hour gets adjusted down to $10.20 per hour.
Though those figures get adjusted down for purchasing power, they still ring in higher than the US federal minimum wage.