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A minimum wage is the lowest hourly, daily or monthly wage that employers may legally pay to employees or workers. First enacted in Australia and New Zealand in the late nineteenth century, minimum wage laws are now enforced in more than 90% of all countries.
Many supporters of the minimum wage assert that it is a matter of ethics and social justice that helps reduce exploitation and ensures workers can afford what are considered to be basic necessities. Others, however, claim it hurts businesses by reducing profit margins, and also increases unemployment.