How Australia’s minimum wage differs from America’s (Letter)

How Australia’s minimum wage differs from America’s (Letter)

December 10, 2013
Originally published in The Washington Post

Eugene Robinson [“An issue Democrats can win on,” op-ed, Dec. 7] argued that America’s minimum wage should be increased in part because it is lower than in some other countries, such as Australia. But the high Australian minimum wage that he cited is misleading, because it doesn’t apply to young workers, who disproportionately lose their jobs in response to minimum wage increases. Australia’s high minimum wage applies only to most workers age 21 and older. Workers younger than that can legally be paid as much as 63 percent less than that wage, depending on their age, and they sometimes receive less than the U.S. minimum wage.