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"In nominal (current dollar) terms, the federal minimum wage has risen from 25 cents an hour in 1938 to $7.25, where it has remained since July 2009. Legislated minimum wage hikes have occurred at irregular intervals while consumer prices have risen almost without interruption. Over time, this fact has consistently reduced the purchasing power of the minimum wage. In fact, if the minimum wage had only kept pace with inflation since 1968, it would now stand at $10.74 per hour."

Many leading companies, such as IKEA, Costco and Whole Foods, are choosing to increase wages for hourly workers, without a government mandate.

The ultimate goal? Higher quality workers, less turnover and improved productivity.