The world’s most powerful retailer will pay more, but its impact on the economy may mean more struggles for low-wage workers
In 1967, just a year before his assassination, Dr Martin Luther King launched the Poor People’s Campaign to “to demand that the government address itself to the problem of poverty”. Five decades on little has changed for low-wage workers.
Minimum wage increases in the US have failed to even keep pace with inflation. A full-time minimum wage worker in 1968 would have earned $20,600 a year (in 2017 dollars), according to the Economics Policy Institute (EPI). A worker paid the federal minimum wage would have only earned $15,080 working full time in 2017. Even the record-breaking run in employment growth has so far failed to raise the wages of low-paid workers.