This year the items on the market basket (you can find those as well at the link) totaled $49.87.
In 2016 the minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. This means it takes a minimum wage worker 6.9 hours of labor to earn enough to purchase the meal.
In 1986 when the the AFB started doing this survey the basket totaled $28.74.
In 1986 the minimum wage was $3.35 per hour. This means it took a minimum wage worker 8.6 hours of labor to earn enough to purchase the meal.
That is a difference of 1.7 hours less the current worker works to earn enough for the meal.
This is not to suggest that we should be satisfied with the current minimum wage.
It only is a comparison of purchasing power from one time period to another in terms of, in isolation, buying basic items to celebrate a widely celebrated US holiday.
|Source: American Farm Bureau|