- May 31, 2017
- Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center
- Nicole Rodriguez
In a well-functioning economy, people who work full time should be able to earn enough to support themselves and their families. That’s important for families and for the overall economy, which relies on consumer spending to keep local businesses thriving. Unfortunately, the pattern of economic growth between the end of the Second World War and the 1970s – where wages generally grew at the same pace as economic productivity – has changed in recent decades. Since the 1970s, the value of wages for most workers has been stagnant while the benefits of economic growth have gone disproportionately to the highest income households.1 In recent years, minimum wage increases have begun to restore modest wage growth for lower wage workers.2 A number of states have now adopted laws to create a $15 minimum wage to spread these gains more widely. This brief discusses commonly asked questions surrounding a $15 minimum wage in Massachusetts.