Department of Labor Minimum Wage Statistics

These are quite interesting. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions, though.

Hat Tip Federal Government 

  • Minimum wage workers tend to be young. About half of all hourly-paid workers earning $5.15 or less were under age 25, and about one-fourth were age 16-19. Among teenagers, about 9 percent earned $5.15 or less. About 2 percent of workers age 25 and over earned the minimum wage or less. Among those age 65 and over, the proportion was 4 percent. (See table 1 and table 7.)
  • About 4 percent of women paid hourly rates reported wages at or below the prevailing Federal minimum, compared with about 2 percent of men. (See table 1.)
  • Nearly 3 percent of white hourly-paid workers earned $5.15 or less, compared with about 2 percent for both blacks and Hispanics or Latinos. The figure for Asians was about 1 percent. Among whites and Hispanics or Latinos, women were about twice as likely as men to earn the Federal minimum wage or less. (See table 1.)
  • Never-married workers, who tend to be young, were more likely to earn the minimum wage or less than persons who are married. (See table 8.)
  • Among hourly-paid workers age 16 and over, about 2 percent of those who had a high school diploma but had not gone on to college earned the minimum or less, compared with about 1 percent for those who had obtained a college degree. (See table 6.)
  • Part-time workers (persons who usually work less than 35 hours per week) were much more likely than their full-time counterparts to be paid $5.15 or less (about 7 percent versus 1 percent). (See table 1 and table 9.)
  • By occupational group, the proportion of hourly-paid workers whose earnings were reported at or below $5.15 ranged from less than 1 percent for persons employed in management, professional, and related occupations, to about 9 percent for those in service occupations. About three in four workers earning $5.15 or less in 2004 were employed in service occupations, mostly in food service jobs. (See table 4.)
  • Among industry groups, the proportion of workers with reported hourly wages at or below $5.15 was highest in leisure and hospitality (about 15 percent). About three-fifths of all workers paid at or below the Federal minimum wage were employed in this industry, primarily in food services and drinking places. For many of these workers, tips supplement the hourly wages received. (See table 5.)
  • Among the four broad geographic regions, the West had the lowest proportion of hourly-paid workers with earnings at or below $5.15, at under 2 percent. This compared with about 3 percent for the other regions. In 2004, 24 states and the District of Columbia had a proportion of hourly-paid workers earning at or below the Federal minimum wage that exceeded the national average (2.7 percent); 22 states had a lower proportion. It should be noted that some states have minimum wage laws establishing minimum wage standards that exceed the Federal level of $5.15 per hour. (See table 2 and table 3.)
  • The proportion of hourly-paid workers earning the prevailing Federal minimum wage or less has trended downward since 1979, when data first began to be collected on a regular basis. (See table 10.)
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