Importance This paper discusses the main factors, principles of and trends in establishing the minimum wage, and the mechanism of implementation of its guarantee at the federal, state, and local levels. Objectives The paper aims to examine the legislative basis for establishing the minimum wage at all governmental levels, determine its size, conduct a comparative analysis of the recipients of minimum wage by various parameters, and describe the specifics of establishing the minimum wage at the regional level. Methods The paper uses the systems, economic-statistical, logical, and comparative analysis approaches. The study analyzes the U.S. legislative acts and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Results The paper presents certain results of the empirical analysis of subsistence wage establishing practices at different levels in the USA. Conclusions The minimum wage in countries where most of the employed are working on an hourly rate is one of the basic social guarantees and supports the standard of living of the least-paid population groups. The U.S. practices are of practical interest for countries with significant wage differences across regions, particularly Russia.
Keywords: social protection system, minimum wage, socio-economic policy
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