News Release Information

15-1153-DAL
Monday, June 22, 2015

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Minimum Wage Workers in Texas – 2014

Of the nearly 6.4 million workers paid hourly rates in Texas in 2014, 182,000 earned exactly the prevailing federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, while 179,000 earned less, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Stanley W. Suchman noted that the 361,000 workers earning the federal minimum wage or less made up 5.7 percent of all hourly paid workers in the state. Nationwide, those earning the federal minimum or less accounted for 3.9 percent of the hourly paid workforce. (The Texas minimum wage is equal to the prevailing federal minimum wage.)

In 2006, 173,000 hourly paid workers earned the prevailing federal minimum wage or less in Texas, the lowest level since data were first available in 1998. The 173,000 workers in this category accounted for 3.0 percent of all hourly paid workers in the state. (See chart 1.) In 2007, the federal minimum wage began increasing after holding steady for nearly a decade. Two additional increases in the federal minimum wage followed, resulting in more Texas workers falling into this category, peaking at 550,000 in 2010. That number has declined in each of the last four years.

 Chart 1. Percentage of hourly-paid wage and salary workers with earnings at or below the prevailing federal minimum wage in Texas, annual averages, 2004-2014

From 2013 to 2014, the portion of hourly paid workers in Texas who earned at or below the federal minimum wage declined from 6.4 to 5.7 percent. The percentage of workers earning less than the federal minimum was unchanged in 2014 at 2.8 percent, while the share earning exactly the minimum wage fell 0.7 percentage point to 2.9 percent. (See table 1.)

Of the 361,000 workers earning the prevailing federal minimum wage or less in Texas in 2014, 220,000, or 60.9 percent, were women. These women represented 7.4 percent of all women paid hourly rates in the state. Men accounted for 141,000, or 39.1 percent, of all Texas workers earning the prevailing minimum wage or less; they made up 4.2 percent of men who were paid hourly rates.

In 2014, Texas’s proportion of hourly paid workers earning at or below the federal minimum wage ranked seventh among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The states with the highest percentages of hourly paid workers earning at or below the federal minimum wage were Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee (all between 6 percent and 7 percent). The states with the lowest percentages of hourly paid workers earning at or below the federal minimum wage were Alaska, California, Oregon, and Washington (all between 1 percent and 2 percent). It should be noted that some states have minimum wage laws establishing standards that exceed the federal minimum wage. It should be noted that, as of January 1, 2015, 29 states and the District of Columbia had laws establishing minimum wage standards that exceeded the federal level of $7.25 per hour. (See table 2 and chart 2.)

Overall, wage and salary workers earning hourly rates in the state had median hourly earnings of $12.24 in 2014; nationally, the median was $13.14. The median hourly rates for men and women in Texas in 2014 were $13.70 and $11.22, respectively. (See table 1.) For the nation, the comparable figures were $14.39 per hour for men and $12.18 per hour for women.

 Chart 2. Minimum wage laws in the states, January 1, 2015

Technical Note

The estimates in this release were obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS), which provides information on the labor force, employment, and unemployment. The survey is conducted monthly for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) by the U.S. Census Bureau using a scientifically selected national sample of about 60,000 eligible households in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The survey also provides data on earnings, which are based on one-fourth of the CPS monthly sample and are limited to wage and salary workers.

Statistics based on the CPS 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 workers with reported wages below the federal minimum wage does not necessarily indicate violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, as there are exemptions to the minimum wage provisions of the law. Estimates of the number of minimum wage workers in this release pertain only to workers who are paid hourly rates. Salaried workers and other workers who are not paid by the hour are excluded, even though some have earnings that, if converted to hourly rates, would be at or below the federal minimum wage. Consequently, the estimates presented in this release likely understate the actual number of workers with hourly earnings at or below the minimum wage. 

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 older who receive wages, salaries, commissions, tips, payments in kind, or piece rates on their sole or principal job. This group includes employees in both the private and public sectors. All self-employed workers are excluded 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: (800) 877-8339.

Table 1. Employed wage and salary workers paid hourly rates with earnings at or below the prevailing federal minimum wage and median earnings of all hourly paid workers in Texas, by sex, annual averages, 2004-2014
Year Number of workers (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 At
minimum
wage
Below
minimum
wage
Total At
minimum
wage
Below
minimum
wage

Total, both sexes

 

2004

5,293 198 67 131 3.7 1.3 2.5 9.95

2005

5,467 176 55 121 3.2 1.0 2.2 10.04

2006

5,724 173 52 121 3.0 0.9 2.1 10.22

2007

5,585 221 46 175 4.0 0.8 3.1 10.54

2008

5,527 262 54 208 4.7 1.0 3.8 11.00

2009

5,596 474 155 319 8.5 2.8 5.7 11.34

2010

5,763 550 268 282 9.5 4.7 4.9 11.20

2011

5,896 473 259 214 8.0 4.4 3.6 11.82

2012

6,060 452 282 170 7.5 4.7 2.8 12.00

2013

6,270 400 223 177 6.4 3.6 2.8 11.99

2014

6,354 361 182 179 5.7 2.9 2.8 12.24

Total, men

 

2004

2,753 77 29 48 2.8 1.1 1.7 10.41

2005

2,835 67 19 48 2.4 0.7 1.7 10.87

2006

3,011 69 22 47 2.3 0.7 1.6 11.18

2007

2,895 69 16 53 2.4 0.6 1.8 11.54

2008

2,932 94 16 78 3.2 0.5 2.7 11.99

2009

2,944 187 50 137 6.4 1.7 4.7 12.10

2010

3,022 223 105 118 7.4 3.5 3.9 12.13

2011

3,081 183 102 81 5.9 3.3 2.6 12.32

2012

3,118 167 103 64 5.4 3.3 2.1 13.05

2013

3,288 150 74 76 4.6 2.3 2.3 12.82

2014

3,394 141 65 76 4.2 1.9 2.2 13.70

Total, women

 

2004

2,541 122 38 84 4.8 1.5 3.3 9.33

2005

2,632 110 37 73 4.2 1.4 2.8 9.24

2006

2,713 104 30 74 3.8 1.1 2.7 9.80

2007

2,690 152 30 122 5.7 1.1 4.5 9.86

2008

2,595 168 38 130 6.5 1.5 5.0 10.02

2009

2,652 287 105 182 10.8 4.0 6.9 10.15

2010

2,741 326 163 163 11.9 5.9 5.9 10.24

2011

2,816 291 158 133 10.3 5.6 4.7 10.85

2012

2,942 286 179 107 9.7 6.1 3.6 10.84

2013

2,981 250 149 101 8.4 5.0 3.4 11.11

2014

2,961 220 117 103 7.4 4.0 3.5 11.22

Note: Data exclude all self-employed persons whether or not their businesses are incorporated. These data are based on a sample and therefore are subject to sampling error; the degree of error may be quite large for less populous states. Some numbers may not sum to totals due to rounding.



Table 2. Wage and salary workers paid hourly rates with earnings at or below the prevailing federal minimum wage, by state, 2014 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 At
minimum wage
Below
minimum wage
Total At
minimum wage
Below
minimum wage
Total At
minimum wage
Below
minimum wage

Total, 16 years and older

77,207 2,992 1,255 1,737 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 3.9 1.6 2.2

Alabama

1,160 57 30 27 1.5 1.9 2.4 1.6 4.9 2.6 2.3

Alaska

206 3 1 2 0.3 0.1 0.1 0.1 1.5 0.5 1.0

Arizona

1,593 43 8 35 2.1 1.4 0.6 2.0 2.7 0.5 2.2

Arkansas

724 46 24 22 0.9 1.5 1.9 1.3 6.4 3.3 3.0

California

9,133 108 45 63 11.8 3.6 3.6 3.6 1.2 0.5 0.7

Colorado

1,219 37 5 32 1.6 1.2 0.4 1.8 3.0 0.4 2.6

Connecticut

883 19 2 17 1.1 0.6 0.2 1.0 2.2 0.2 1.9

Delaware

223 9 4 5 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 4.0 1.8 2.2

District of Columbia

106 3 1 2 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 2.8 0.9 1.9

Florida

4,340 183 40 143 5.6 6.1 3.2 8.2 4.2 0.9 3.3

Georgia

2,150 119 57 62 2.8 4.0 4.5 3.6 5.5 2.7 2.9

Hawaii

335 17 12 5 0.4 0.6 1.0 0.3 5.1 3.6 1.5

Idaho

412 21 12 9 0.5 0.7 1.0 0.5 5.1 2.9 2.2

Illinois

3,157 115 31 84 4.1 3.8 2.5 4.8 3.6 1.0 2.7

Indiana

1,846 113 56 57 2.4 3.8 4.5 3.3 6.1 3.0 3.1

Iowa

996 50 24 26 1.3 1.7 1.9 1.5 5.0 2.4 2.6

Kansas

814 40 22 18 1.1 1.3 1.8 1.0 4.9 2.7 2.2

Kentucky

1,144 56 26 30 1.5 1.9 2.1 1.7 4.9 2.3 2.6

Louisiana

1,087 68 30 38 1.4 2.3 2.4 2.2 6.3 2.8 3.5

Maine

387 12 3 9 0.5 0.4 0.2 0.5 3.1 0.8 2.3

Maryland

1,311 53 19 34 1.7 1.8 1.5 2.0 4.0 1.4 2.6

Massachusetts

1,657 57 11 46 2.1 1.9 0.9 2.6 3.4 0.7 2.8

Michigan

2,614 99 23 76 3.4 3.3 1.8 4.4 3.8 0.9 2.9

Minnesota

1,524 50 34 16 2.0 1.7 2.7 0.9 3.3 2.2 1.0

Mississippi

647 40 24 16 0.8 1.3 1.9 0.9 6.2 3.7 2.5

Missouri

1,552 72 34 38 2.0 2.4 2.7 2.2 4.6 2.2 2.4

Montana

305 7 4 3 0.4 0.2 0.3 0.2 2.3 1.3 1.0

Nebraska

547 26 16 10 0.7 0.9 1.3 0.6 4.8 2.9 1.8

Nevada

767 20 9 11 1.0 0.7 0.7 0.6 2.6 1.2 1.4

New Hampshire

385 15 6 9 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 3.9 1.6 2.3

New Jersey

1,928 66 19 47 2.5 2.2 1.5 2.7 3.4 1.0 2.4

New Mexico

478 15 1 14 0.6 0.5 0.1 0.8 3.1 0.2 2.9

New York

3,898 137 32 105 5.0 4.6 2.5 6.0 3.5 0.8 2.7

North Carolina

2,227 113 68 45 2.9 3.8 5.4 2.6 5.1 3.1 2.0

North Dakota

228 7 3 4 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.2 3.1 1.3 1.8

Ohio

3,335 113 18 95 4.3 3.8 1.4 5.5 3.4 0.5 2.8

Oklahoma

900 34 17 17 1.2 1.1 1.4 1.0 3.8 1.9 1.9

Oregon

985 10 3 7 1.3 0.3 0.2 0.4 1.0 0.3 0.7

Pennsylvania

3,450 156 73 83 4.5 5.2 5.8 4.8 4.5 2.1 2.4

Rhode Island

275 10 2 8 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.5 3.6 0.7 2.9

South Carolina

1,117 50 30 20 1.4 1.7 2.4 1.2 4.5 2.7 1.8

South Dakota

247 11 6 5 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.3 4.5 2.4 2.0

Tennessee

1,617 110 65 45 2.1 3.7 5.2 2.6 6.8 4.0 2.8

Texas

6,354 361 182 179 8.2 12.1 14.5 10.3 5.7 2.9 2.8

Utah

722 28 14 14 0.9 0.9 1.1 0.8 3.9 1.9 1.9

Vermont

181 5 1 4 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.2 2.8 0.6 2.2

Virginia

1,878 90 36 54 2.4 3.0 2.9 3.1 4.8 1.9 2.9

Washington

1,781 17 9 8 2.3 0.6 0.7 0.5 1.0 0.5 0.4

West Virginia

443 26 16 10 0.6 0.9 1.3 0.6 5.9 3.6 2.3

Wisconsin

1,766 71 47 24 2.3 2.4 3.7 1.4 4.0 2.7 1.4

Wyoming

172 5 2 3 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 2.9 1.2 1.7

Note: Data exclude all self-employed persons whether or not their businesses are incorporated. These data are based on a sample and therefore are subject to sampling error; the degree of error may be quite large for less populous states.

 

Last Modified Date: Monday, June 22, 2015