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Expand chart
Reproduced from the Economic Policy Institute; Chart: Axios Visuals

Americans are currently seeing the highest minimum wage ever, the New York Times' Ernie Tedeschi reported last week. Despite the federal minimum wage stagnating at $7.25 for 10 years, a string of moves by states and cities recently has raised the effective minimum wage to almost $12 an hour.

Yes, but: One group on the other side of that wage increase is America's teachers. "Teachers were paid 21.4% less in weekly wages than similar college graduates in 2018—after accounting for education, experience, and other factors known to affect earnings," according to a new analysis by the Economic Policy Institute.

  • Despite generous benefits packages teachers earn, in terms of total compensation (wages plus benefits) teachers earned 13.1% less than similar college graduates last year, EPI's analysis found.

The big picture: 4 of the 7 states with the largest wage gaps between teachers and similar college graduates — Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina, and Oklahoma — were the site of teacher protests in 2018. Teachers in these states earned at least 26% less, according to EPI's data.

  • "It's no surprise that the states that have seen teachers strike and walk out over the past year are the states that have some of the highest teacher wage penalties," said EPI Distinguished Fellow Lawrence Mishel in a statement. "If we are going to have excellent schools, we must make sure that teachers are paid for their work."

Go deeper: No end in sight for nationwide wave of teacher strikes

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Health

Food banks feel the strain without holiday volunteers

People wait in line at Food Bank Community Kitchen on Nov. 25 in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank For New York City

America's food banks are sounding the alarm during this unprecedented holiday season.

The big picture: Soup kitchens and charities, usually brimming with holiday volunteers, are getting far less help.

5 hours ago - Health

AstraZeneca CEO: "We need to do an additional study" on COVID vaccine

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday the company is likely to start a new global trial to measure how effective its coronavirus vaccine is, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Following Phase 3 trials, Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving.
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions.
  3. World: Expert says COVID vaccine likely won't be available in Africa until Q2 of 2021 — Europeans extend lockdowns.
  4. Economy: The winners and losers of the COVID holiday season.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.