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This Day In Market History: Truman Nearly Doubles The Minimum Wage

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This Day In Market History: Truman Nearly Doubles The Minimum Wage

Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that occurred on this date.

What Happened

On Oct. 26, 1949, President Harry Truman raised the minimum wage from 40 cents to 75 cents.

Where The Market Was

The S&P 500 traded near 16.11, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average traded around 2,031.77.

What Else Was Going On In The World

The Chinese Civil War had just broken out, and trials for World War II war crimes continued.

Truman Raises The Minimum Wage

The Fair Labor Standards Amendment of 1949 nearly doubled the wage floor set in 1938 in an effort to increase consumer buying power and stimulate the economy. The amendment also expanded minimum wage coverage to air-transport workers and eliminated special industry committees that previously set sector-specific wages.

The New Deal precedent had established a 25-cent hourly minimum for specific industries that rose and expanded periodically. Six years after Truman’s amendment, the wage increased to $1 an hour and slowly rose from there. The hikes began to accelerate in the 1970s, and throughout the ‘90s, they lifted the floor from $3.80 to $7.25.

The first minimum wages had been privately instituted. Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) set a workplace standard in 1914 by increasing bottom daily rates from $2.40 to $5.

Related Links:

This Day In Market History: Self-Employment Laws Go Into Effect

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