Minimum wage workers account for 4.3 percent of hourly paid workers in 2013

April 03, 2014

In 2013, there were 3.3 million hourly paid workers in the United States with wages at or below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. These workers made up 4.3 percent of the 75.9 million workers age 16 and over who were paid at hourly rates. In 2013, about 5 percent of women who were paid hourly rates had wages at or below the federal minimum, compared with about 3 percent of men.

Percentage of hourly paid workers with earnings at or below the federal minimum wage, by sex, 1979–2013 annual averages

 

Percentage of hourly paid workers with earnings at or below the federal minimum wage, by sex, 1979–2013 annual averages
YearTotalMenWomen

1979

13.47.720.2

1980

15.19.721.6

1981

15.19.621.3

1982

12.88.617.3

1983

12.28.416.4

1984

11.07.514.8

1985

9.96.913.2

1986

8.85.911.9

1987

7.95.410.5

1988

6.54.48.6

1989

5.13.56.7

1990

5.13.46.9

1991

8.46.010.9

1992

7.75.99.7

1993

6.75.18.4

1994

6.24.77.8

1995

5.33.96.8

1996

5.43.96.8

1997

6.75.18.3

1998

6.24.77.7

1999

4.63.45.9

2000

3.62.54.8

2001

3.02.03.9

2002

3.02.23.7

2003

2.92.03.8

2004

2.71.83.6

2005

2.51.73.3

2006

2.21.52.9

2007

2.31.43.1

2008

3.01.93.9

2009

4.93.95.9

2010

6.04.57.3

2011

5.23.96.4

2012

4.73.46.0

2013

4.33.35.4

Note: Data for 1990–1991, 1996–1997, and 2007–2009 reflect changes in the minimum wage that took place during those years.

 

The percentage of hourly paid workers earning the federal minimum wage or less declined from 4.7 percent in 2012 to 4.3 percent in 2013. This remains well below the figure of 13.4 percent in 1979, when data were first collected on a regular basis.

Among occupational groups, the highest percentage of hourly paid workers earning at or below the federal minimum wage was in food preparation and serving‑related jobs, at about 22 percent. Nearly half of the 3.3 million workers earning the federal minimum wage or less in 2013 were employed in these jobs.

 

Percentage of hourly paid workers with earnings at or below the federal minimum wage, by occupation, 2013 annual averages

 

Percentage of hourly paid workers with earnings at or below the federal minimum wage, by occupation, 2013 annual averages
OccupationPercent

Total, 16 years and older

4.3

Management, professional, and related occupations

1.0

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

0.8

Professional and related occupations

1.0

Service occupations

11.3

Healthcare support occupations

3.0

Protective service occupations

3.1

Food preparation and serving related occupations

21.7

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations

4.8

Personal care and service occupations

7.9

Sales and office occupations

3.4

Sales and related occupations

6.1

Office and administrative support occupations

1.6

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

1.1

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

5.4

Construction and extraction occupations

0.8

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

0.6

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

2.1

Production occupations

1.6

Transportation and material moving occupations

2.8

 

These data are from the Current Population Survey. For more information, see Characteristics of Minimum Wage Workers, 2013 (PDF). Data are for wage and salary workers age 16 and older and refer to earnings on a person's sole or principal job. Hourly earnings for hourly paid workers do not include overtime pay, commissions, or tips received. The estimates of the number of workers with reported earnings at or below the federal minimum wage pertain only to workers who are paid hourly rates. Salaried workers and other nonhourly paid workers are excluded. All self-employed persons also are excluded, regardless of whether their businesses are incorporated.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Editor's Desk, Minimum wage workers account for 4.3 percent of hourly paid workers in 2013 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2014/ted_20140403.htm (visited August 30, 2014).

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