If the federal minimum wage had been adjusted for inflation, it would be $10.67 an hour today. Since 1968, housing prices have doubled, the cost of gas has grown by 60%, health care costs have increased by 1500% and food costs have increased, while the federal minimum wage has lost 1/3rd of its purchasing power. This reduced purchasing power of the federal minimum wage has made it more and more difficult for low-wage workers to pay for housing, transportation, food and health care.