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.
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.
Today, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, and two U.S. Congressmen have proposed raising it to $10.10. Washington state, meanwhile, recently raised its minimum wage to $9.19 an hour—the highest rate in the country.
That made us recollect our own first job and how much we made. So we posed the question to our friends on the Sammamish-Issaquah Patch Facebook page, and got some fun answers:
- "I was a "science interpreter" (snake lady) at Pacific Science Center, $3.50/hr (minimum was $3.35 at the time). Started there in 1988, i think."
- "I made $4-something an hour as my first job at Garden Club, as a server in their dining hall. I didn't even get a free meal out of it! I was 15 and it was 1994ish?"
- "50 cents an hour babysitting in the late 70s"
- "Uh... my first 'official' job was for $3.35 at McDonalds. I jumped ship a day later to Wendy's for $4.25. This was back in the mid-80s when minimum (in Missouri) was $3.25/hr. At McDonald's I cooked fries. Lots and lots of fries. At Wendy's, I managed the salad bar and took orders."
Do you remember working for minimum wage? What was it and what did you do? Tell us in the comments section.