In the fall of 2024, Citizen Math released updated versions of every lesson in our library, plus a few new ones! We know you may have already prepped an earlier version or planned a repeat of last year, so we're continuing to make these earlier versions available through Thursday December 5, 2024.

You can find the new lessons through the regular search, and we hope you love them as much as we do. You can read more about these updates in Our Community.

Click here for the updated version of this lesson!

Should the government increase the minimum wage? Millions of people earn hourly wages at fast-food restaurants, but it can be difficult to determine how much to pay. On one hand, the more a restaurant pays, the more people will want to work there. On the other hand, the fewer employees the restaurant will want to hire.

In this lesson, students use systems of linear equations to explore the relationship between wage and labor, analyze the economics of fast-food restaurants, and debate whether the federal government should increase the minimum wage.

- As the hourly wage increases (for a given job), more people will want the job but companies will hire fewer employees.
- The federal minimum wage in the U.S. is $7.25. Many people working at or near minimum wage in the U.S. require government assistance for basic needs. As a result, some people have called for a higher minimum wage, e.g. $15/hr.
- Economists disagree about the consequences of raising the minimum wage.

- Given a table of values, calculate the change in y per change in x (i.e. the slope); interpret the slope in context
- Solve a system of linear equations
- Interpret the solution of a system, and the space on either side, in a real-world context