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13-444-KAN
March 12, 2013

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Minimum Wage Workers in Missouri – 2012

Of the 1.5 million workers paid hourly rates in Missouri in 2012, 49,000 earned exactly the prevailing federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, while 48,000 earned less, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Stanley W. Suchman noted that the 97,000 workers earning the federal minimum wage or less made up 6.3 percent of all hourly-paid workers in the state. Nationwide, those earning the federal minimum wage or less accounted for 4.7 percent of the hourly-paid workforce. (The 2012 Missouri minimum wage is equal to the prevailing federal minimum wage.)

In 2007, 33,000 hourly-paid workers earned the prevailing federal minimum wage or less in the state—the lowest level since data were first available in 2000; they accounted for 2.1 percent of all workers paid an hourly wage. (See chart 1.) It was also in 2007 that the federal minimum wage began increasing after holding steady for nearly a decade. The initial result was that more Missouri workers fell into this category, peaking at 123,000 in 2010.

 Chart 1. Percentage of hourly-paid wage and salary workers with earnings at or below the prevailing federal minimum wage in Missouri, annual averages, 2002-2012

From 2011 to 2012, the portion of hourly-paid workers in Missouri who earned at or below the federal minimum wage declined from 7.1 to 6.3 percent. The percentage of workers earning less than the federal minimum wage fell 0.5 percentage point in 2012, while the share earning exactly the minimum wage was down 0.3 percentage point. As a result, 2012 was the second consecutive year that the percentage of workers with earnings at the federal minimum rate was similar to the portion with wages below the minimum.

Of the 97,000 workers earning the prevailing federal minimum wage or less in Missouri in 2012, 68,000, or 70 percent, were women. These women represented 8.5 percent of all women paid hourly rates in the state. The 28,000 men earning the prevailing minimum wage or less accounted for 3.8 percent of all men who were paid hourly rates. (See table A.)

Overall, employed wage and salary workers earning hourly rates in the state had median hourly earnings of $12.96 in 2012; nationally, the median was $12.80. The median hourly rates for men and women in Missouri in 2012 were $13.89 and $11.92, respectively. For the nation, the comparable figures were $13.88 per hour for men and $11.99 per hour for women.

Table A. Employed wage and salary workers paid hourly rates with earnings at or below the prevailing federal minimum wage in Missouri, by sex, annual averages, 2002 - 2012
Missouri Number of workers(1) (in thousands) Percent of workers paid hourly rates Median earnings (in dollars)
Total paid hourly rates At or below minimum wage At or below minimum wage
Total(2) At minimum wage Below minimum wage Total(2) At minimum wage Below minimum wage

Total, both

 

2002

1,602 48 10 38 3.0 0.6 2.4 10.81

2003

1,586 58 13 45 3.7 0.8 2.8 11.20

2004

1,601 42 9 33 2.6 0.6 2.1 11.05

2005

1,613 56 15 41 3.5 0.9 2.5 11.15

2006

1,581 36 12 24 2.3 0.8 1.5 11.58

2007

1,577 33 3 30 2.1 0.2 1.9 11.79

2008

1,592 50 4 46 3.1 0.3 2.9 11.77

2009

1,534 87 28 59 5.7 1.8 3.8 12.20

2010

1,531 123 55 68 8.0 3.6 4.4 12.04

2011

1,543 109 54 55 7.1 3.5 3.6 12.54

2012

1,538 97 49 48 6.3 3.2 3.1 12.96

Total, men

 

2002

799 14 4 10 1.8 0.5 1.3 12.56

2003

769 16 3 13 2.1 0.4 1.7 12.39

2004

765 13 2 11 1.7 0.3 1.4 12.77

2005

789 19 10 9 2.4 1.3 1.1 12.78

2006

772 8 2 6 1.0 0.3 0.8 13.00

2007

742 12 1 11 1.6 0.1 1.5 13.45

2008

755 14 1 13 1.9 0.1 1.7 13.66

2009

725 36 17 19 5.0 2.3 2.6 13.93

2010

720 44 22 22 6.1 3.1 3.1 13.29

2011

723 38 20 18 5.3 2.8 2.5 14.10

2012

737 28 12 16 3.8 1.6 2.2 13.89

Total, women

 

2002

803 35 7 28 4.4 0.9 3.5 9.78

2003

817 42 10 32 5.1 1.2 3.9 10.28

2004

836 28 6 22 3.3 0.7 2.6 10.09

2005

823 36 5 31 4.4 0.6 3.8 10.06

2006

808 27 10 17 3.3 1.2 2.1 10.42

2007

835 21 2 19 2.5 0.2 2.3 10.50

2008

837 36 3 33 4.3 0.4 3.9 10.86

2009

809 50 11 39 6.2 1.4 4.8 11.39

2010

810 78 33 45 9.6 4.1 5.6 11.31

2011

821 71 34 37 8.6 4.1 4.5 11.58

2012

801 68 37 31 8.5 4.6 3.9 11.92

Footnotes:
(1) All self-employed persons are excluded, whether or not their businesses are incorporated.
(2) Data may not add to totals due to rounding.
 

In 2012, Missouri’s proportion of hourly-paid workers earning at or below the prevailing federal minimum wage ranked ninth among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Idaho had the highest proportion of hourly-paid workers earning at or below the prevailing federal minimum wage, 7.7 percent, followed by Texas (7.5 percent), Oklahoma (7.2 percent), and Louisiana (7.1 percent). The states with the lowest percentage of workers earning the federal minimum wage or below included Washington, Montana, California, Oregon, and Alaska, all less than 2.0 percent. It should be noted that, as of January 1, 2013, 19 states (including Missouri) and the District of Columbia had laws establishing minimum wage standards that exceeded the federal level of $7.25 per hour. (See table 1 and chart 2.) 


Technical Note

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ data on minimum wage earners are derived from the Current Population Survey (CPS). This survey is conducted monthly for the Bureau of Labor Statistics by the U.S. Census Bureau, using a national sample of about 60,000 households, with coverage in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The earnings data are collected from one-fourth of the CPS monthly sample. Data in this summary are annual averages.

Statistics based on the CPS data are subject to both sampling and nonsampling error. The differences among data for the states reflect, in part, variations in the occupation, industry, and age composition of each state’s labor force. In addition, sampling error for the state estimates is considerably larger than it is for the national data.

Minimum wage worker data, particularly levels, for each year are not strictly comparable with data for earlier years because of the introduction of revised population controls used in the CPS. For technical documentation and related information, including reliability of the CPS estimates, see www.bls.gov/cps/documentation.htm.

It should be noted that the presence of a sizable number of workers with reported wages below the minimum does not necessarily indicate violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, as there are exemptions to the minimum wage provisions of the law. The estimates of the numbers of minimum and subminimum wage workers presented in the accompanying tables pertain to workers paid at hourly rates; salaried and other non-hourly workers are excluded. As such, the actual number of workers with earnings at or below the prevailing minimum is undoubtedly understated.

The prevailing federal minimum wage was $2.90 in 1979, $3.10 in 1980, and $3.35 in 1981-89. The minimum wage rose to $3.80 in April 1990, $4.25 in April 1991, $4.75 in October 1996, and $5.15 in September 1997. On July 24, 2007, the federal minimum wage increased to $5.85 per hour; on July 24, 2008, to $6.55 per hour; and on July 24, 2009, to $7.25 per hour.

The principal definitions used in connection with the earnings series in this release are described below:

Median hourly earnings. The median is the amount which divides a given earnings distribution into two equal groups, one having earnings above the median and the other having earnings below the median. The median is less sensitive to extreme wages than the mean; this makes it a better measure for highly skewed distributions.

Wage and salary workers. Workers age 16 and over who receive wages, salaries, commissions, tips, payment in kind, or piece rates. Data refer to earnings on a person’s sole or principal job. The group includes employees in both the private and public sectors but, for the purposes of the earnings series, excludes all self-employed persons, regardless of whether or not their businesses are incorporated.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339.

Table 1. Employed wage and salary workers paid hourly rates with earnings at or below the prevailing federal minimum wage by state, 2012 annual averages
State Number of workers (in thousands) Percent distribution Percent of workers paid hourly rates
Total paid hourly rates At or below minimum wage Total paid hourly rates At or below minimum wage At or below minimum wage
Total (1) At minimum wage Below minimum wage Total (1) At minimum wage Below minimum wage Total (1) At minimum wage Below minimum wage

Total, 16 years and over

75,276 3,550 1,566 1,984 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 4.7 2.1 2.6

Alabama

1,083 65 31 34 1.4 1.8 2.0 1.7 6.0 2.9 3.1

Alaska

194 2 1 1 0.3 0.1 0.1 0.1 1.0 0.5 0.5

Arizona

1,472 68 17 51 2.0 1.9 1.1 2.6 4.6 1.2 3.5

Arkansas

725 50 33 17 1.0 1.4 2.1 0.9 6.9 4.6 2.3

California

8,805 127 45 82 11.7 3.6 2.9 4.1 1.4 0.5 0.9

Colorado

1,234 42 7 35 1.6 1.2 0.4 1.8 3.4 0.6 2.8

Connecticut

853 23 2 21 1.1 0.6 0.1 1.1 2.7 0.2 2.5

Delaware

219 11 4 7 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.4 5.0 1.8 3.2

District of Columbia

103 5 1 4 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.2 4.9 1.0 3.9

Florida

4,164 214 49 165 5.5 6.0 3.1 8.3 5.1 1.2 4.0

Georgia

2,114 136 60 76 2.8 3.8 3.8 3.8 6.4 2.8 3.6

Hawaii

331 14 7 7 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 4.2 2.1 2.1

Idaho

404 31 16 15 0.5 0.9 1.0 0.8 7.7 4.0 3.7

Illinois

3,065 85 21 64 4.1 2.4 1.3 3.2 2.8 0.7 2.1

Indiana

1,785 93 50 43 2.4 2.6 3.2 2.2 5.2 2.8 2.4

Iowa

920 46 25 21 1.2 1.3 1.6 1.1 5.0 2.7 2.3

Kansas

780 44 29 15 1.0 1.2 1.9 0.8 5.6 3.7 1.9

Kentucky

1,147 60 30 30 1.5 1.7 1.9 1.5 5.2 2.6 2.6

Louisiana

1,043 74 35 39 1.4 2.1 2.2 2.0 7.1 3.4 3.7

Maine

378 11 3 8 0.5 0.3 0.2 0.4 2.9 0.8 2.1

Maryland

1,327 67 25 42 1.8 1.9 1.6 2.1 5.0 1.9 3.2

Massachusetts

1,567 62 17 45 2.1 1.7 1.1 2.3 4.0 1.1 2.9

Michigan

2,449 90 19 71 3.3 2.5 1.2 3.6 3.7 0.8 2.9

Minnesota

1,522 60 35 25 2.0 1.7 2.2 1.3 3.9 2.3 1.6

Mississippi

700 45 21 24 0.9 1.3 1.3 1.2 6.4 3.0 3.4

Missouri

1,538 97 49 48 2.0 2.7 3.1 2.4 6.3 3.2 3.1

Montana

274 4 1 3 0.4 0.1 0.1 0.2 1.5 0.4 1.1

Nebraska

561 32 17 15 0.7 0.9 1.1 0.8 5.7 3.0 2.7

Nevada

730 23 9 14 1.0 0.6 0.6 0.7 3.2 1.2 1.9

New Hampshire

370 13 5 8 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.4 3.5 1.4 2.2

New Jersey

1,777 103 49 54 2.4 2.9 3.1 2.7 5.8 2.8 3.0

New Mexico

488 23 6 17 0.6 0.6 0.4 0.9 4.7 1.2 3.5

New York

4,075 224 113 111 5.4 6.3 7.2 5.6 5.5 2.8 2.7

North Carolina

2,206 137 74 63 2.9 3.9 4.7 3.2 6.2 3.4 2.9

North Dakota

205 7 3 4 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.2 3.4 1.5 2.0

Ohio

3,277 147 31 116 4.4 4.1 2.0 5.8 4.5 0.9 3.5

Oklahoma

890 64 29 35 1.2 1.8 1.9 1.8 7.2 3.3 3.9

Oregon

982 11 3 8 1.3 0.3 0.2 0.4 1.1 0.3 0.8

Pennsylvania

3,450 195 87 108 4.6 5.5 5.6 5.4 5.7 2.5 3.1

Rhode Island

298 10 2 8 0.4 0.3 0.1 0.4 3.4 0.7 2.7

South Carolina

1,084 59 28 31 1.4 1.7 1.8 1.6 5.4 2.6 2.9

South Dakota

253 12 6 6 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.3 4.7 2.4 2.4

Tennessee

1,554 86 46 40 2.1 2.4 2.9 2.0 5.5 3.0 2.6

Texas

6,060 452 282 170 8.1 12.7 18.0 8.6 7.5 4.7 2.8

Utah

758 37 21 16 1.0 1.0 1.3 0.8 4.9 2.8 2.1

Vermont

184 5 1 4 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.2 2.7 0.5 2.2

Virginia

1,803 123 48 75 2.4 3.5 3.1 3.8 6.8 2.7 4.2

Washington

1,705 29 11 18 2.3 0.8 0.7 0.9 1.7 0.6 1.1

West Virginia

453 26 13 13 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.7 5.7 2.9 2.9

Wisconsin

1,745 94 41 53 2.3 2.6 2.6 2.7 5.4 2.3 3.0

Wyoming

173 9 4 5 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.3 5.2 2.3 2.9

Footnotes:
(1) Data may not add to totals due to rounding.
 

Note: Data exclude all self-employed persons whether or not their businesses are incorporated. Users are reminded that these data are based on a sample and are therefore subject to sampling error; the degree of error may be quite large for less populous states. It is not possible to determine whether workers surveyed in the CPS are actually covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or by individual state minimum wage laws. Thus, some workers reported as earning the prevailing federal minimum wage may not in fact be covered by federal or state minimum wage laws. Also, there are a number of states that have minimum wages that exceed the federal minimum wage. At the same time, the presence of a sizable number of workers with wages below the prevailing federal minimum wage does not necessarily indicate violations of the FLSA or applicable state laws, because there are numerous exclusions and exemptions to these minimum wage statutes. Hourly earnings do not include overtime pay, commissions, or tips.
 

 Chart 2. Minimum wage laws in the United States, January 1, 2013

 

Last Modified Date: Tuesday, March 12, 2013