March 2018 Report 1072

Characteristics of minimum wage workers, 2017

Characteristics of minimum wage workers, 2017 image

In 2017, 80.4 million workers age 16 and older in the United States were paid at hourly rates, representing 58.3 percent of all wage and salary workers. Among those paid by the hour, 542,000 workers earned exactly the prevailing federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. About 1.3 million had wages below the federal minimum. Together, these 1.8 million workers with wages at or below the federal minimum made up 2.3 percent of all hourly paid workers.

The percentage of hourly paid workers earning the prevailing federal minimum wage or less declined from 2.7 percent in 2016 to 2.3 percent in 2017. This remains well below the percentage of 13.4 recorded in 1979, when data were first collected on a regular basis. (See table 10.)

This report presents highlights and statistical tables describing workers who earned at or below the federal minimum wage in 2017. The data are obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS), a national monthly survey of approximately 60,000 households conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Information on earnings is collected from one-fourth of the CPS sample each month.

The CPS does not include questions on whether workers are covered by the minimum wage provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or by individual state or local minimum wage laws. The estimates of workers paid at or below the federal minimum wage are based solely on the hourly wage they report, which does not include overtime pay, tips, or commissions. See the accompanying technical notes section for more information, including a description of the source of the data and an explanation of the concepts and definitions used in this report.

Highlights

The following are highlights from the 2017 data:

Age. Minimum wage workers tend to be young. Although workers under age 25 represented only about one-fifth of hourly paid workers, they made up about half of those paid the federal minimum wage or less. Among employed teenagers (ages 16 to 19) paid by the hour, about 8 percent earned the minimum wage or less, compared with about 1 percent of workers age 25 and older. (See tables 1 and 7.)

Gender. Among workers who were paid hourly rates in 2017, about 3 percent of women and about 2 percent of men had wages at or below the prevailing federal minimum. (See table 1.)

Race and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity. The percentage of hourly paid workers with wages at or below the federal minimum differed little among the major race and ethnicity groups. About 3 percent of African American or Black workers earned the federal minimum wage or less. Among White, Asian, and Hispanic workers, the percentage was about 2 percent. (See table 1.)

Education. Among hourly paid workers age 16 and older, about 4 percent of those without a high school diploma earned the federal minimum wage or less, compared with about 2 percent of those who had a high school diploma (with no college), about 2 percent of those with some college or an associate degree, and about 1 percent of college graduates. (See table 6.)

Marital status. Of those paid an hourly wage, never-married workers, who tend to be young, were more likely (4 percent) than married workers (1 percent) to earn the federal minimum wage or less. (See table 8.)

Full- and part-time status. About 6 percent of part-time workers (persons who usually work fewer than 35 hours per week) were paid the federal minimum wage or less, compared with about 1 percent of full-time workers. (See table 1.)

Occupation. Among major occupational groups, service occupations had the highest percentage of hourly paid workers earning at or below the federal minimum wage, at about 7 percent. About two-thirds of workers earning the minimum wage or less in 2017 were employed in service occupations, mostly in food preparation and serving related jobs. (See table 4.)

Industry. The industry with the highest percentage of workers earning hourly wages at or below the federal minimum wage was leisure and hospitality (11 percent). About three-fifths of all workers paid at or below the federal minimum wage were employed in this industry, almost entirely in restaurants and other food services. For many of these workers, tips may supplement the hourly wages received. (See table 5.)

State of residence. The states with the highest percentages of hourly paid workers earning at or below the minimum wage were in the South: Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, South Carolina, Louisiana, and Virginia (all were about 4 percent). The states with the lowest percentages of hourly paid workers earning at or below the federal minimum wage were in the West or Midwest: California, Washington, Montana, and Minnesota (all were less than 1 percent). It should be noted that many states have minimum wage laws establishing standards that exceed the federal minimum wage. (See tables 2 and 3.)

Statistical Tables

Table 1. Wage and salary workers paid hourly rates with earnings at or below the prevailing federal minimum wage, by selected characteristics, 2017 annual averages
Characteristic Number of workers (in thousands) Percent distribution Percentage 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

Age and gender

 

Total, 16 years and older

80,439 1,824 542 1,282 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 2.3 0.7 1.6

16 to 24 years

15,974 891 321 569 19.9 48.8 59.2 44.4 5.6 2.0 3.6

16 to 19 years

4,660 388 172 215 5.8 21.3 31.8 16.8 8.3 3.7 4.6

25 years and older

64,465 933 221 712 80.1 51.2 40.8 55.6 1.4 0.3 1.1

Men, 16 years and older

39,781 678 226 452 49.5 37.2 41.6 35.3 1.7 0.6 1.1

16 to 24 years

8,009 329 131 198 10.0 18.0 24.1 15.5 4.1 1.6 2.5

16 to 19 years

2,252 146 65 81 2.8 8.0 12.1 6.3 6.5 2.9 3.6

25 years and older

31,772 349 95 254 39.5 19.1 17.5 19.8 1.1 0.3 0.8

Women, 16 years and older

40,658 1,146 316 829 50.5 62.8 58.4 64.7 2.8 0.8 2.0

16 to 24 years

7,965 562 190 371 9.9 30.8 35.1 29.0 7.1 2.4 4.7

16 to 19 years

2,409 241 107 134 3.0 13.2 19.7 10.5 10.0 4.4 5.6

25 years and older

32,693 584 126 458 40.6 32.0 23.2 35.7 1.8 0.4 1.4

Race and Hispanic
or Latino ethnicity

 

White(1)

61,258 1,375 359 1,016 76.2 75.4 66.3 79.3 2.2 0.6 1.7

Men

30,861 490 154 336 38.4 26.9 28.4 26.2 1.6 0.5 1.1

Women

30,398 885 205 680 37.8 48.5 37.9 53.0 2.9 0.7 2.2

Black or African American(1)

11,829 301 146 155 14.7 16.5 26.9 12.1 2.5 1.2 1.3

Men

5,385 135 58 76 6.7 7.4 10.8 5.9 2.5 1.1 1.4

Women

6,445 166 88 79 8.0 9.1 16.2 6.2 2.6 1.4 1.2

Asian(1)

4,001 70 14 56 5.0 3.8 2.7 4.3 1.7 0.4 1.4

Men

1,841 23 4 19 2.3 1.3 0.8 1.5 1.3 0.2 1.0

Women

2,160 47 10 37 2.7 2.6 1.9 2.9 2.2 0.5 1.7

Hispanic or Latino(1)

16,604 301 101 200 20.6 16.5 18.6 15.6 1.8 0.6 1.2

Men

9,131 124 48 77 11.4 6.8 8.8 6.0 1.4 0.5 0.8

Women

7,473 176 53 123 9.3 9.7 9.9 9.6 2.4 0.7 1.6

Full- and part-time status

 

Full-time workers(2)

60,205 640 130 510 74.8 35.1 24.0 39.8 1.1 0.2 0.8

Men

32,808 265 59 207 40.8 14.5 10.8 16.1 0.8 0.2 0.6

Women

27,397 375 71 303 34.1 20.5 13.2 23.7 1.4 0.3 1.1

Part-time workers(2)

20,139 1,181 412 769 25.0 64.7 76.0 60.0 5.9 2.0 3.8

Men

6,921 412 167 245 8.6 22.6 30.8 19.1 5.9 2.4 3.5

Women

13,219 769 245 524 16.4 42.2 45.2 40.9 5.8 1.9 4.0

Footnotes
(1) Estimates for the above race groups--White, Black or African American, and Asian--do not sum to totals because data are not presented for all races. Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race.
(2) The distinction between full- and part-time workers is based on hours usually worked. These data will not sum to totals because full- or part-time status on the principal job is not identifiable for a small number of multiple jobholders. Full time is 35 hours or more per week; part time is less than 35 hours.
 

Note: Data exclude all self-employed persons whether or not their businesses are incorporated.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
 

Table 2. Wage and salary workers paid hourly rates with earnings at or below the prevailing federal minimum wage, by census region and division, 2017 annual averages
Region and division Number of workers (in thousands) Percent distribution Percentage 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

80,439 1,824 542 1,282 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 2.3 0.7 1.6

Northeast

13,168 288 88 199 16.4 15.8 16.3 15.6 2.2 0.7 1.5

New England

3,728 80 10 69 4.6 4.4 1.9 5.4 2.1 0.3 1.9

Middle Atlantic

9,440 208 78 130 11.7 11.4 14.5 10.1 2.2 0.8 1.4

Midwest

19,154 409 99 310 23.8 22.4 18.3 24.2 2.1 0.5 1.6

East North Central

13,048 303 70 233 16.2 16.6 12.9 18.2 2.3 0.5 1.8

West North Central

6,106 106 29 77 7.6 5.8 5.4 6.0 1.7 0.5 1.3

South

28,700 918 302 616 35.7 50.3 55.7 48.1 3.2 1.1 2.1

South Atlantic

14,904 452 111 341 18.5 24.8 20.4 26.6 3.0 0.7 2.3

East South Central

4,775 190 84 106 5.9 10.4 15.4 8.3 4.0 1.8 2.2

West South Central

9,021 276 108 168 11.2 15.2 19.9 13.1 3.1 1.2 1.9

West

19,418 208 52 156 24.1 11.4 9.6 12.2 1.1 0.3 0.8

Mountain

6,155 120 30 90 7.7 6.6 5.6 7.0 2.0 0.5 1.5

Pacific

13,263 88 22 66 16.5 4.8 4.0 5.2 0.7 0.2 0.5

Note: Data exclude all self-employed persons whether or not their businesses are incorporated.
The four major regions and nine census divisions of the United States are as follows:

Northeast:
New England: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont
Middle Atlantic: New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania
Midwest:
East North Central: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin
West North Central: Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota
South:
South Atlantic: Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia
East South Central: Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee
West South Central: Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas
West:
Mountain: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming
Pacific: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
 

Table 3. Wage and salary workers paid hourly rates with earnings at or below the prevailing federal minimum wage, by state, 2017 annual averages
State Number of workers (in thousands) Percent distribution Percentage 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

80,439 1,824 542 1,282 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 2.3 0.7 1.6

Alabama

1,189 40 26 14 1.5 2.2 4.8 1.1 3.4 2.2 1.2

Alaska

203 2 1 1 0.3 0.1 0.2 0.1 1.2 0.6 0.5

Arizona

1,644 29 2 27 2.0 1.6 0.4 2.1 1.8 0.1 1.6

Arkansas

769 14 3 11 1.0 0.8 0.5 0.9 1.8 0.4 1.4

California

9,685 52 14 39 12.0 2.9 2.5 3.0 0.5 0.1 0.4

Colorado

1,292 22 0 22 1.6 1.2 0.0 1.7 1.7 0.0 1.7

Connecticut

937 14 1 14 1.2 0.8 0.2 1.1 1.5 0.1 1.5

Delaware

266 8 2 6 0.3 0.4 0.4 0.4 2.9 0.8 2.1

District of Columbia

116 4 1 3 0.1 0.2 0.1 0.2 3.0 0.6 2.4

Florida

4,726 123 6 116 5.9 6.7 1.1 9.1 2.6 0.1 2.5

Georgia

2,288 73 30 43 2.8 4.0 5.6 3.3 3.2 1.3 1.9

Hawaii

372 6 1 5 0.5 0.3 0.2 0.4 1.7 0.3 1.4

Idaho

477 16 5 11 0.6 0.9 0.9 0.9 3.3 1.0 2.3

Illinois

3,147 79 18 61 3.9 4.3 3.3 4.8 2.5 0.6 1.9

Indiana

1,937 59 24 35 2.4 3.2 4.4 2.7 3.0 1.2 1.8

Iowa

962 16 6 10 1.2 0.9 1.2 0.8 1.7 0.7 1.0

Kansas

825 26 9 17 1.0 1.4 1.7 1.3 3.2 1.1 2.1

Kentucky

1,176 52 17 35 1.5 2.9 3.2 2.7 4.4 1.5 3.0

Louisiana

1,061 39 15 24 1.3 2.1 2.7 1.9 3.6 1.4 2.3

Maine

366 10 1 8 0.5 0.5 0.3 0.7 2.7 0.4 2.3

Maryland

1,458 39 11 28 1.8 2.1 2.1 2.1 2.7 0.8 1.9

Massachusetts

1,567 40 4 36 1.9 2.2 0.7 2.8 2.5 0.2 2.3

Michigan

2,711 57 6 52 3.4 3.1 1.0 4.0 2.1 0.2 1.9

Minnesota

1,649 14 6 8 2.1 0.8 1.1 0.6 0.9 0.4 0.5

Mississippi

704 29 15 14 0.9 1.6 2.7 1.1 4.1 2.1 2.0

Missouri

1,634 33 4 29 2.0 1.8 0.8 2.3 2.0 0.3 1.8

Montana

291 2 0 2 0.4 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.8 0.2 0.7

Nebraska

540 7 1 6 0.7 0.4 0.2 0.5 1.3 0.2 1.1

Nevada

883 12 6 6 1.1 0.7 1.1 0.5 1.4 0.7 0.7

New Hampshire

382 8 2 6 0.5 0.4 0.4 0.5 2.1 0.5 1.6

New Jersey

1,788 27 8 19 2.2 1.5 1.4 1.5 1.5 0.4 1.1

New Mexico

505 14 3 11 0.6 0.8 0.5 0.9 2.7 0.5 2.2

New York

4,236 75 28 47 5.3 4.1 5.2 3.7 1.8 0.7 1.1

North Carolina

2,481 82 28 54 3.1 4.5 5.2 4.2 3.3 1.1 2.2

North Dakota

234 5 1 4 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.3 2.0 0.5 1.5

Ohio

3,391 58 6 52 4.2 3.2 1.1 4.1 1.7 0.2 1.5

Oklahoma

901 28 12 16 1.1 1.5 2.3 1.2 3.1 1.4 1.7

Oregon

1,094 13 3 10 1.4 0.7 0.6 0.8 1.2 0.3 0.9

Pennsylvania

3,415 106 43 64 4.2 5.8 7.9 5.0 3.1 1.2 1.9

Rhode Island

298 4 1 3 0.4 0.2 0.1 0.3 1.4 0.2 1.1

South Carolina

1,132 43 14 29 1.4 2.4 2.6 2.3 3.8 1.2 2.6

South Dakota

264 5 1 4 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.3 1.8 0.4 1.4

Tennessee

1,706 69 26 43 2.1 3.8 4.8 3.4 4.1 1.5 2.5

Texas

6,290 196 78 118 7.8 10.7 14.5 9.2 3.1 1.2 1.9

Utah

900 21 13 9 1.1 1.2 2.3 0.7 2.4 1.4 1.0

Vermont

177 3 1 2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.1 1.8 0.8 1.1

Virginia

1,978 70 15 55 2.5 3.9 2.8 4.3 3.6 0.8 2.8

Washington

1,910 14 3 12 2.4 0.8 0.5 0.9 0.8 0.1 0.6

West Virginia

459 10 2 7 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.6 2.1 0.5 1.6

Wisconsin

1,862 50 17 33 2.3 2.7 3.1 2.6 2.7 0.9 1.8

Wyoming

164 4 2 2 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.2 2.2 0.9 1.2

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.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
 

Table 4. Wage and salary workers paid hourly rates with earnings at or below the prevailing federal minimum wage, by occupation, 2017 annual averages
Occupation Number of workers (in thousands) Percent distribution Percentage 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

80,439 1,824 542 1,282 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 2.3 0.7 1.6

Management, professional, and related occupations

18,233 102 23 79 22.7 5.6 4.3 6.2 0.6 0.1 0.4

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

5,293 30 2 28 6.6 1.7 0.4 2.2 0.6 0.0 0.5

Professional and related occupations

12,940 72 21 51 16.1 3.9 3.9 4.0 0.6 0.2 0.4

Service occupations

19,261 1,249 240 1,009 23.9 68.5 44.3 78.7 6.5 1.2 5.2

Healthcare support occupations

2,907 53 17 36 3.6 2.9 3.1 2.8 1.8 0.6 1.2

Protective service occupations

1,996 27 8 19 2.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.3 0.4 0.9

Food preparation and serving related occupations

7,199 971 134 837 8.9 53.2 24.6 65.3 13.5 1.9 11.6

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations

3,887 80 40 40 4.8 4.4 7.3 3.1 2.0 1.0 1.0

Personal care and service occupations

3,273 119 42 77 4.1 6.5 7.7 6.0 3.6 1.3 2.4

Sales and office occupations

20,214 289 207 82 25.1 15.8 38.1 6.4 1.4 1.0 0.4

Sales and related occupations

8,010 199 141 58 10.0 10.9 26.0 4.5 2.5 1.8 0.7

Office and administrative support occupations

12,204 90 66 24 15.2 4.9 12.1 1.9 0.7 0.5 0.2

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

9,188 31 6 26 11.4 1.7 1.0 2.0 0.3 0.1 0.3

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

792 10 1 8 1.0 0.5 0.2 0.6 1.2 0.2 1.0

Construction and extraction occupations

5,023 11 1 10 6.2 0.6 0.1 0.8 0.2 0.0 0.2

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

3,372 11 4 7 4.2 0.6 0.7 0.6 0.3 0.1 0.2

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

13,543 153 67 86 16.8 8.4 12.3 6.7 1.1 0.5 0.6

Production occupations

6,913 48 19 29 8.6 2.6 3.5 2.3 0.7 0.3 0.4

Transportation and material moving occupations

6,630 105 48 57 8.2 5.7 8.8 4.5 1.6 0.7 0.9

Note: Data exclude all self-employed persons whether or not their businesses are incorporated.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
 

Table 5. Wage and salary workers paid hourly rates with earnings at or below the prevailing federal minimum wage, by industry, 2017 annual averages
Industry Number of workers (in thousands) Percent distribution Percentage 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

80,439 1,824 542 1,282 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 2.3 0.7 1.6

Private sector

70,794 1,744 514 1,230 88.0 95.6 94.8 96.0 2.5 0.7 1.7

Agriculture and related industries

886 6 0 6 1.1 0.4 0.0 0.5 0.7 0.0 0.7

Nonagricultural industries

69,908 1,737 514 1,223 86.9 95.3 94.8 95.5 2.5 0.7 1.8

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction

397 1 1 1 0.5 0.1 0.2 0.0 0.4 0.2 0.1

Construction

5,294 14 2 13 6.6 0.8 0.3 1.0 0.3 0.0 0.2

Manufacturing

9,274 52 21 31 11.5 2.9 3.8 2.4 0.6 0.2 0.3

Durable goods

5,680 34 11 23 7.1 1.8 1.9 1.8 0.6 0.2 0.4

Nondurable goods

3,594 19 10 8 4.5 1.0 1.9 0.6 0.5 0.3 0.2

Wholesale and retail trade

12,922 207 138 69 16.1 11.4 25.5 5.4 1.6 1.1 0.5

Wholesale trade

1,658 7 4 3 2.1 0.4 0.8 0.2 0.4 0.2 0.2

Retail trade

11,265 200 134 66 14.0 11.0 24.7 5.2 1.8 1.2 0.6

Transportation and utilities

3,684 25 9 17 4.6 1.4 1.6 1.3 0.7 0.2 0.4

Information

1,086 6 4 2 1.3 0.3 0.7 0.2 0.5 0.3 0.2

Financial activities

3,545 24 11 14 4.4 1.3 2.0 1.1 0.7 0.3 0.4

Professional and business services

6,607 63 30 33 8.2 3.5 5.5 2.6 1.0 0.5 0.5

Education and health services

13,813 159 62 97 17.2 8.7 11.4 7.6 1.2 0.4 0.7

Leisure and hospitality

10,015 1,105 213 893 12.5 60.6 39.2 69.7 11.0 2.1 8.9

Other services

3,271 79 25 54 4.1 4.4 4.6 4.2 2.4 0.8 1.7

Public sector

9,645 80 28 52 12.0 4.4 5.2 4.0 0.8 0.3 0.5

Federal

1,807 13 6 8 2.2 0.7 1.0 0.6 0.7 0.3 0.4

State

2,935 20 9 11 3.6 1.1 1.7 0.9 0.7 0.3 0.4

Local

4,903 46 13 33 6.1 2.5 2.5 2.6 0.9 0.3 0.7

Note: Data exclude all self-employed persons whether or not their businesses are incorporated.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
 

Table 6. Wage and salary workers paid hourly rates with earnings at or below the prevailing federal minimum wage, by educational attainment, 2017 annual averages
Educational attainment Number of workers (in thousands) Percent distribution Percentage 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

80,439 1,824 542 1,282 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 2.3 0.7 1.6

Less than a high school diploma

9,608 415 206 209 11.9 22.8 38.0 16.3 4.3 2.1 2.2

Less than 1 year of high school

2,734 46 20 27 3.4 2.5 3.6 2.1 1.7 0.7 1.0

1 to 3 years of high school

5,576 325 164 161 6.9 17.8 30.3 12.6 5.8 2.9 2.9

4 years of high school, no diploma

1,298 43 22 21 1.6 2.4 4.1 1.6 3.3 1.7 1.6

High school graduates or more

70,831 1,408 336 1,072 88.1 77.2 62.0 83.7 2.0 0.5 1.5

High school graduates, no college

26,851 554 157 397 33.4 30.4 28.9 31.0 2.1 0.6 1.5

Some college or associate degree

27,877 672 161 511 34.7 36.8 29.7 39.9 2.4 0.6 1.8

Some college, no degree

17,995 526 132 394 22.4 28.8 24.3 30.7 2.9 0.7 2.2

Associate degree

9,882 146 29 117 12.3 8.0 5.3 9.2 1.5 0.3 1.2

Occupational program

4,264 66 16 50 5.3 3.6 3.0 3.9 1.5 0.4 1.2

Academic program

5,618 80 13 67 7.0 4.4 2.4 5.3 1.4 0.2 1.2

Bachelor's degree and higher

16,104 183 19 164 20.0 10.0 3.4 12.8 1.1 0.1 1.0

Bachelor's degree

12,357 148 16 132 15.4 8.1 2.9 10.3 1.2 0.1 1.1

Master's degree

2,985 25 1 24 3.7 1.4 0.1 1.9 0.8 0.0 0.8

Professional degree

331 3 0 3 0.4 0.2 0.1 0.2 0.9 0.1 0.8

Doctoral degree

432 6 2 5 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.4 1.5 0.4 1.1

Note: Data exclude all self-employed persons whether or not their businesses are incorporated.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
 

Table 7. Wage and salary workers paid hourly rates with earnings at or below the prevailing federal minimum wage, by age and gender, 2017 annual averages
Age and gender Number of workers (in thousands) Percent distribution Percentage 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

 

Total, 16 years and older

80,439 1,824 542 1,282 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 2.3 0.7 1.6

16 to 24 years

15,974 891 321 569 19.9 48.8 59.2 44.4 5.6 2.0 3.6

16 to 19 years

4,660 388 172 215 5.8 21.3 31.8 16.8 8.3 3.7 4.6

20 to 24 years

11,314 503 149 354 14.1 27.6 27.4 27.6 4.4 1.3 3.1

25 years and older

64,465 933 221 712 80.1 51.2 40.8 55.6 1.4 0.3 1.1

25 to 34 years

19,269 415 76 338 24.0 22.7 14.1 26.4 2.2 0.4 1.8

25 to 29 years

10,563 264 46 218 13.1 14.5 8.6 17.0 2.5 0.4 2.1

30 to 34 years

8,706 150 30 120 10.8 8.2 5.5 9.4 1.7 0.3 1.4

35 to 44 years

14,620 210 47 162 18.2 11.5 8.7 12.7 1.4 0.3 1.1

35 to 39 years

7,756 105 22 82 9.6 5.8 4.1 6.4 1.4 0.3 1.1

40 to 44 years

6,864 105 25 80 8.5 5.7 4.6 6.2 1.5 0.4 1.2

45 to 54 years

14,793 158 38 121 18.4 8.7 6.9 9.4 1.1 0.3 0.8

45 to 49 years

7,420 88 19 69 9.2 4.8 3.6 5.3 1.2 0.3 0.9

50 to 54 years

7,373 70 18 52 9.2 3.9 3.4 4.1 1.0 0.2 0.7

55 to 64 years

11,865 105 42 62 14.8 5.7 7.8 4.9 0.9 0.4 0.5

55 to 59 years

6,983 71 26 45 8.7 3.9 4.8 3.5 1.0 0.4 0.6

60 to 64 years

4,881 33 16 17 6.1 1.8 3.0 1.3 0.7 0.3 0.3

65 years and older

3,918 46 18 29 4.9 2.5 3.2 2.2 1.2 0.4 0.7

65 to 69 years

2,299 25 10 15 2.9 1.4 1.9 1.2 1.1 0.4 0.6

70 years and older

1,619 21 7 14 2.0 1.2 1.3 1.1 1.3 0.4 0.9

Men

 

Total, 16 years and older

39,781 678 226 452 49.5 37.2 41.6 35.3 1.7 0.6 1.1

16 to 24 years

8,009 329 131 198 10.0 18.0 24.1 15.5 4.1 1.6 2.5

16 to 19 years

2,252 146 65 81 2.8 8.0 12.1 6.3 6.5 2.9 3.6

20 to 24 years

5,757 183 65 117 7.2 10.0 12.0 9.1 3.2 1.1 2.0

25 years and older

31,772 349 95 254 39.5 19.1 17.5 19.8 1.1 0.3 0.8

25 to 34 years

9,919 155 38 117 12.3 8.5 7.0 9.1 1.6 0.4 1.2

25 to 29 years

5,423 98 25 73 6.7 5.4 4.6 5.7 1.8 0.5 1.4

30 to 34 years

4,496 57 13 43 5.6 3.1 2.5 3.4 1.3 0.3 1.0

35 to 44 years

7,432 77 18 59 9.2 4.2 3.3 4.6 1.0 0.2 0.8

35 to 39 years

4,020 36 7 30 5.0 2.0 1.2 2.3 0.9 0.2 0.7

40 to 44 years

3,412 40 11 29 4.2 2.2 2.1 2.2 1.2 0.3 0.8

45 to 54 years

7,152 56 13 43 8.9 3.1 2.4 3.4 0.8 0.2 0.6

45 to 49 years

3,594 28 5 23 4.5 1.5 0.9 1.8 0.8 0.1 0.7

50 to 54 years

3,558 28 8 20 4.4 1.5 1.5 1.6 0.8 0.2 0.6

55 to 64 years

5,504 40 20 20 6.8 2.2 3.7 1.6 0.7 0.4 0.4

55 to 59 years

3,272 28 14 14 4.1 1.5 2.5 1.1 0.8 0.4 0.4

60 to 64 years

2,232 12 6 6 2.8 0.7 1.1 0.5 0.6 0.3 0.3

65 years and older

1,766 21 6 16 2.2 1.2 1.1 1.2 1.2 0.3 0.9

65 to 69 years

1,026 10 3 8 1.3 0.6 0.5 0.6 1.0 0.3 0.8

70 years and older

739 11 3 8 0.9 0.6 0.6 0.6 1.5 0.4 1.0

Women

 

Total, 16 years and older

40,658 1,146 316 829 50.5 62.8 58.4 64.7 2.8 0.8 2.0

16 to 24 years

7,965 562 190 371 9.9 30.8 35.1 29.0 7.1 2.4 4.7

16 to 19 years

2,409 241 107 134 3.0 13.2 19.7 10.5 10.0 4.4 5.6

20 to 24 years

5,557 320 83 237 6.9 17.6 15.4 18.5 5.8 1.5 4.3

25 years and older

32,693 584 126 458 40.6 32.0 23.2 35.7 1.8 0.4 1.4

25 to 34 years

9,350 260 38 222 11.6 14.2 7.0 17.3 2.8 0.4 2.4

25 to 29 years

5,140 166 22 145 6.4 9.1 4.0 11.3 3.2 0.4 2.8

30 to 34 years

4,210 94 17 77 5.2 5.1 3.1 6.0 2.2 0.4 1.8

35 to 44 years

7,188 133 29 104 8.9 7.3 5.4 8.1 1.9 0.4 1.4

35 to 39 years

3,736 68 16 53 4.6 3.8 2.9 4.1 1.8 0.4 1.4

40 to 44 years

3,452 65 13 51 4.3 3.5 2.5 4.0 1.9 0.4 1.5

45 to 54 years

7,641 102 25 77 9.5 5.6 4.5 6.0 1.3 0.3 1.0

45 to 49 years

3,826 60 15 45 4.8 3.3 2.7 3.5 1.6 0.4 1.2

50 to 54 years

3,815 42 10 32 4.7 2.3 1.8 2.5 1.1 0.3 0.8

55 to 64 years

6,361 65 22 42 7.9 3.6 4.1 3.3 1.0 0.4 0.7

55 to 59 years

3,712 44 12 32 4.6 2.4 2.2 2.5 1.2 0.3 0.9

60 to 64 years

2,650 21 10 11 3.3 1.2 1.9 0.8 0.8 0.4 0.4

65 years and older

2,153 25 12 13 2.7 1.4 2.1 1.0 1.1 0.5 0.6

65 to 69 years

1,273 15 8 7 1.6 0.8 1.4 0.5 1.1 0.6 0.5

70 years and older

880 10 4 6 1.1 0.6 0.7 0.5 1.1 0.4 0.7

Note: Data exclude all self-employed persons whether or not their businesses are incorporated.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
 

Table 8. Wage and salary workers paid hourly rates with earnings at or below the prevailing federal minimum wage, by marital status, age, and gender, 2017 annual averages
Marital status, age,
and gender
Number of workers (in thousands) Percent distribution Percentage 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

 

Total, 16 years and older

80,439 1,824 542 1,282 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 2.3 0.7 1.6

Never married

32,149 1,247 392 855 40.0 68.4 72.3 66.7 3.9 1.2 2.7

16 to 24 years

14,583 841 308 532 18.1 46.1 56.8 41.6 5.8 2.1 3.7

25 years and older

17,566 407 84 323 21.8 22.3 15.5 25.2 2.3 0.5 1.8

25 to 54 years

16,009 390 75 315 19.9 21.4 13.8 24.6 2.4 0.5 2.0

Married, spouse present(1)

35,317 387 99 288 43.9 21.2 18.3 22.5 1.1 0.3 0.8

16 to 24 years

1,063 41 12 29 1.3 2.2 2.1 2.3 3.9 1.1 2.8

25 years and older

34,254 346 88 258 42.6 19.0 16.2 20.2 1.0 0.3 0.8

25 to 54 years

24,514 257 54 204 30.5 14.1 9.9 15.9 1.0 0.2 0.8

Widowed, divorced, or separated(2)

12,973 189 51 139 16.1 10.4 9.3 10.8 1.5 0.4 1.1

16 to 24 years

328 9 1 7 0.4 0.5 0.3 0.6 2.7 0.5 2.3

25 years and older

12,645 180 49 131 15.7 9.9 9.1 10.2 1.4 0.4 1.0

25 to 54 years

8,159 135 33 103 10.1 7.4 6.0 8.0 1.7 0.4 1.3

Men

 

Total, 16 years and older

39,781 678 226 452 49.5 37.2 41.6 35.3 1.7 0.6 1.1

Never married

16,612 511 166 345 20.7 28.0 30.7 26.9 3.1 1.0 2.1

16 to 24 years

7,404 324 128 196 9.2 17.7 23.6 15.3 4.4 1.7 2.6

25 years and older

9,208 188 39 149 11.4 10.3 7.1 11.6 2.0 0.4 1.6

25 to 54 years

8,511 179 35 144 10.6 9.8 6.5 11.3 2.1 0.4 1.7

Married, spouse present(1)

18,106 114 37 77 22.5 6.2 6.8 6.0 0.6 0.2 0.4

16 to 24 years

469 5 3 2 0.6 0.3 0.5 0.2 1.0 0.6 0.4

25 years and older

17,637 109 34 75 21.9 6.0 6.3 5.8 0.6 0.2 0.4

25 to 54 years

12,603 70 19 52 15.7 3.8 3.4 4.0 0.6 0.1 0.4

Widowed, divorced, or separated(2)

5,064 53 22 31 6.3 2.9 4.1 2.4 1.0 0.4 0.6

16 to 24 years

136 0 0 0 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.3 0.1 0.2

25 years and older

4,927 53 22 30 6.1 2.9 4.1 2.4 1.1 0.5 0.6

25 to 54 years

3,389 39 16 23 4.2 2.1 2.9 1.8 1.1 0.5 0.7

Women

 

Total, 16 years and older

40,658 1,146 316 829 50.5 62.8 58.4 64.7 2.8 0.8 2.0

Never married

15,538 736 226 510 19.3 40.4 41.6 39.8 4.7 1.5 3.3

16 to 24 years

7,179 517 180 337 8.9 28.4 33.3 26.3 7.2 2.5 4.7

25 years and older

8,358 219 45 174 10.4 12.0 8.4 13.5 2.6 0.5 2.1

25 to 54 years

7,498 211 40 171 9.3 11.5 7.3 13.3 2.8 0.5 2.3

Married, spouse present(1)

17,212 274 62 211 21.4 15.0 11.5 16.5 1.6 0.4 1.2

16 to 24 years

594 36 9 27 0.7 2.0 1.6 2.1 6.1 1.5 4.6

25 years and older

16,617 237 54 184 20.7 13.0 9.9 14.3 1.4 0.3 1.1

25 to 54 years

11,911 187 35 152 14.8 10.3 6.5 11.9 1.6 0.3 1.3

Widowed, divorced, or separated(2)

7,909 136 28 108 9.8 7.5 5.2 8.4 1.7 0.4 1.4

16 to 24 years

192 9 1 7 0.2 0.5 0.2 0.6 4.4 0.7 3.8

25 years and older

7,717 128 27 101 9.6 7.0 5.0 7.9 1.7 0.3 1.3

25 to 54 years

4,770 97 17 80 5.9 5.3 3.2 6.2 2.0 0.4 1.7

Footnotes
(1) Refers to people in opposite-sex married couples only.
(2) Separated includes people who are married, spouse absent.
 

Note: Data exclude all self-employed workers, whether or not their businesses are incorporated.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
 

Table 9. Wage and salary workers paid hourly rates with earnings at or below the prevailing federal minimum wage, by usual hours worked per week on primary job, 2017 annual averages
Usual hours worked per week on primary job Number of workers (in thousands) Percent distribution Percentage 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

80,439 1,824 542 1,282 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 2.3 0.7 1.6

Hours vary

4,444 160 43 117 5.5 8.8 7.9 9.1 3.6 1.0 2.6

0 to 34 hours

18,526 1,094 379 716 23.0 60.0 69.8 55.9 5.9 2.0 3.9

0 to 4 hours

381 21 6 15 0.5 1.2 1.1 1.2 5.6 1.6 4.0

5 to 9 hours

996 68 21 47 1.2 3.7 3.8 3.7 6.8 2.1 4.7

10 to 14 hours

1,710 116 54 63 2.1 6.4 9.9 4.9 6.8 3.1 3.7

15 to 19 hours

2,341 158 67 91 2.9 8.7 12.4 7.1 6.7 2.9 3.9

20 to 24 hours

5,427 319 123 196 6.7 17.5 22.7 15.3 5.9 2.3 3.6

25 to 29 hours

2,879 168 60 108 3.6 9.2 11.1 8.4 5.8 2.1 3.7

30 to 34 hours

4,791 243 47 196 6.0 13.3 8.8 15.3 5.1 1.0 4.1

35 hours or more

57,470 569 121 449 71.4 31.2 22.2 35.0 1.0 0.2 0.8

35 to 39 hours

5,864 153 31 122 7.3 8.4 5.7 9.5 2.6 0.5 2.1

40 hours or more

51,606 416 90 327 64.2 22.8 16.5 25.5 0.8 0.2 0.6

40 hours

44,481 363 84 279 55.3 19.9 15.5 21.8 0.8 0.2 0.6

41 hours or more

7,125 53 5 48 8.9 2.9 1.0 3.7 0.7 0.1 0.7

41 to 44 hours

741 4 1 3 0.9 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.6 0.2 0.4

45 to 48 hours

2,416 27 1 25 3.0 1.5 0.3 2.0 1.1 0.1 1.1

49 to 59 hours

2,731 16 1 15 3.4 0.9 0.1 1.2 0.6 0.0 0.6

60 hours or more

1,238 6 2 3 1.5 0.3 0.4 0.3 0.4 0.2 0.3

Note: Data exclude all self-employed persons whether or not their businesses are incorporated. Estimates of usual hours worked presented in this table differ from usual full- or part-time status (as shown in table 1) because of a sizable number of workers whose usual hours vary on the primary job.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
 

Table 10. Wage and salary workers paid hourly rates with earnings at or below prevailing federal minimum wage, by gender, 1979-2017 annual averages [Numbers in thousands]
Year and gender Total
wage
and
salary
workers
Workers paid hourly rates
Total Percentage
of total
wage
and
salary
workers
At
prevailing
federal
minimum
wage(1)
Below
prevailing
federal
minimum
wage(1)
Total at or below
prevailing federal
minimum wage
Number Percentage
of hourly
paid
workers

Total

 

1979

87,529 51,721 59.1 3,997 2,916 6,912 13.4

1980

87,644 51,335 58.6 4,686 3,087 7,773 15.1

1981

88,516 51,869 58.6 4,311 3,513 7,824 15.1

1982

87,368 50,846 58.2 4,148 2,348 6,496 12.8

1983

88,290 51,820 58.7 4,261 2,077 6,338 12.2

1984

92,194 54,143 58.7 4,125 1,838 5,963 11.0

1985

94,521 55,762 59.0 3,899 1,639 5,538 9.9

1986

96,903 57,529 59.4 3,461 1,599 5,060 8.8

1987

99,303 59,552 60.0 3,229 1,468 4,698 7.9

1988

101,407 60,878 60.0 2,608 1,319 3,927 6.5

1989

103,480 62,389 60.3 1,790 1,372 3,162 5.1

1990

104,876 63,172 60.2 1,096 2,132 3,228 5.1

1991

103,723 62,627 60.4 2,906 2,377 5,283 8.4

1992

104,668 63,610 60.8 2,982 1,939 4,921 7.7

1993

106,101 64,274 60.6 2,625 1,707 4,332 6.7

1994

107,989 66,549 61.6 2,132 1,995 4,128 6.2

1995

110,038 68,354 62.1 1,956 1,699 3,656 5.3

1996

111,960 69,255 61.9 1,861 1,863 3,724 5.4

1997

114,533 70,735 61.8 1,764 2,990 4,754 6.7

1998

116,730 71,440 61.2 1,593 2,834 4,427 6.2

1999

118,963 72,306 60.8 1,146 2,194 3,340 4.6

2000

122,089 73,496 60.2 898 1,752 2,650 3.6

2001

122,229 73,392 60.0 656 1,518 2,174 3.0

2002

121,826 72,508 59.5 567 1,579 2,146 3.0

2003

122,358 72,946 59.6 545 1,555 2,100 2.9

2004

123,554 73,939 59.8 520 1,483 2,003 2.7

2005

125,889 75,609 60.1 479 1,403 1,882 2.5

2006

128,237 76,514 59.7 409 1,283 1,692 2.2

2007

129,767 75,873 58.5 267 1,462 1,729 2.3

2008

129,377 75,305 58.2 286 1,940 2,226 3.0

2009

124,490 72,611 58.3 980 2,592 3,572 4.9

2010

124,073 72,902 58.8 1,820 2,541 4,361 6.0

2011

125,187 73,926 59.1 1,677 2,152 3,829 5.2

2012

127,577 75,276 59.0 1,566 1,984 3,550 4.7

2013

129,110 75,948 58.8 1,532 1,768 3,301 4.3

2014

131,431 77,207 58.7 1,255 1,737 2,992 3.9

2015

133,743 78,232 58.5 870 1,691 2,561 3.3

2016

136,101 79,883 58.7 701 1,451 2,153 2.7

2017

137,890 80,439 58.3 542 1,282 1,824 2.3

Men

 

1979

49,400 28,392 57.5 1,353 846 2,199 7.7

1980

48,700 27,709 56.9 1,696 983 2,678 9.7

1981

48,844 27,576 56.5 1,533 1,119 2,652 9.6

1982

47,591 26,481 55.6 1,587 697 2,284 8.6

1983

47,856 26,831 56.1 1,658 585 2,243 8.4

1984

50,022 28,140 56.3 1,626 490 2,116 7.5

1985

51,015 28,893 56.6 1,544 440 1,984 6.9

1986

51,942 29,666 57.1 1,336 408 1,743 5.9

1987

52,938 30,474 57.6 1,283 364 1,647 5.4

1988

53,912 31,058 57.6 1,066 311 1,377 4.4

1989

54,789 31,687 57.8 733 379 1,112 3.5

1990

55,553 32,104 57.8 385 712 1,097 3.4

1991

54,618 31,639 57.9 1,114 795 1,909 6.0

1992

54,826 32,155 58.6 1,231 653 1,885 5.9

1993

55,475 32,337 58.3 1,091 573 1,664 5.1

1994

56,570 33,528 59.3 891 674 1,565 4.7

1995

57,669 34,420 59.7 796 542 1,338 3.9

1996

58,473 34,838 59.6 755 619 1,374 3.9

1997

59,825 35,521 59.4 673 1,147 1,820 5.1

1998

60,973 35,761 58.7 628 1,039 1,667 4.7

1999

61,914 36,073 58.3 446 768 1,214 3.4

2000

63,662 36,720 57.7 319 582 901 2.5

2001

63,647 36,544 57.4 247 497 744 2.0

2002

63,272 36,000 56.9 217 582 799 2.2

2003

63,236 35,853 56.7 213 493 706 2.0

2004

64,145 36,806 57.4 210 470 680 1.8

2005

65,466 37,652 57.5 189 459 648 1.7

2006

66,811 38,193 57.2 146 422 568 1.5

2007

67,468 37,790 56.0 86 460 546 1.4

2008

66,846 37,334 55.9 90 638 728 1.9

2009

63,539 35,185 55.4 368 990 1,358 3.9

2010

63,531 35,498 55.9 669 943 1,612 4.5

2011

64,686 36,457 56.4 648 785 1,433 3.9

2012

65,898 37,113 56.3 567 696 1,263 3.4

2013

66,794 37,544 56.2 622 621 1,243 3.3

2014

68,048 38,405 56.4 516 598 1,114 2.9

2015

69,298 38,732 55.9 330 629 959 2.5

2016

70,589 39,568 56.1 270 499 769 1.9

2017

71,469 39,781 55.7 226 452 678 1.7

Women

 

1979

38,129 23,329 61.2 2,644 2,070 4,714 20.2

1980

38,944 23,626 60.7 2,990 2,104 5,095 21.6

1981

39,672 24,294 61.2 2,778 2,394 5,172 21.3

1982

39,777 24,365 61.3 2,561 1,651 4,212 17.3

1983

40,433 24,989 61.8 2,603 1,492 4,095 16.4

1984

42,172 26,003 61.7 2,499 1,348 3,847 14.8

1985

43,506 26,869 61.8 2,356 1,198 3,554 13.2

1986

44,961 27,863 62.0 2,125 1,192 3,317 11.9

1987

46,365 29,078 62.7 1,946 1,105 3,051 10.5

1988

47,495 29,820 62.8 1,542 1,008 2,550 8.6

1989

48,691 30,702 63.1 1,056 994 2,050 6.7

1990

49,323 31,069 63.0 711 1,420 2,131 6.9

1991

49,105 30,988 63.1 1,792 1,582 3,374 10.9

1992

49,842 31,454 63.1 1,751 1,286 3,036 9.7

1993

50,626 31,937 63.1 1,534 1,133 2,667 8.4

1994

51,419 33,021 64.2 1,241 1,322 2,563 7.8

1995

52,369 33,934 64.8 1,161 1,157 2,318 6.8

1996

53,488 34,418 64.3 1,106 1,244 2,350 6.8

1997

54,708 35,214 64.4 1,092 1,843 2,935 8.3

1998

55,757 35,680 64.0 965 1,794 2,760 7.7

1999

57,050 36,233 63.5 700 1,426 2,126 5.9

2000

58,427 36,777 62.9 579 1,170 1,749 4.8

2001

58,582 36,848 62.9 409 1,021 1,430 3.9

2002

58,555 36,508 62.3 350 997 1,347 3.7

2003

59,122 37,093 62.7 332 1,062 1,394 3.8

2004

59,408 37,133 62.5 310 1,013 1,323 3.6

2005

60,423 37,957 62.8 290 944 1,234 3.3

2006

61,426 38,321 62.4 263 861 1,124 2.9

2007

62,299 38,082 61.1 181 1,002 1,183 3.1

2008

62,532 37,972 60.7 196 1,302 1,498 3.9

2009

60,951 37,426 61.4 612 1,603 2,215 5.9

2010

60,542 37,404 61.8 1,151 1,598 2,749 7.3

2011

60,502 37,469 61.9 1,029 1,366 2,395 6.4

2012

61,679 38,163 61.9 999 1,288 2,287 6.0

2013

62,316 38,404 61.6 910 1,148 2,058 5.4

2014

63,383 38,802 61.2 739 1,139 1,878 4.8

2015

64,445 39,500 61.3 540 1,062 1,602 4.1

2016

65,512 40,315 61.5 432 952 1,384 3.4

2017

66,421 40,658 61.2 316 829 1,146 2.8

Footnotes
(1) Data for 1990-1991, 1996-1997, and 2007-2009 reflect changes in the minimum wage that took place in those years.
 

Note: The comparability of historical labor force data has been affected at various times by methodological and conceptual changes in the Current Population Survey (CPS). Information about historical comparability is available at
https://www.bls.gov/cps/documentation.htm#comp.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
 

Technical Notes

The estimates in this report 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. All self-employed workers, both incorporated and unincorporated, are excluded from these earnings estimates.

Material in this report is in the public domain and may be used without permission. This information is available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice telephone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339. 

Concepts and definitions

The principal definitions used in connection with the estimates of minimum wage workers presented in this report are described briefly below.

Wage and salary workers. These are those 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.

Workers paid by the hour. These are wage and salary workers who report that they are paid at an hourly rate on their job. Historically, workers paid an hourly wage have made up approximately three-fifths of all wage and salary workers. Estimates of workers paid by the hour include both full- and part-time workers unless otherwise specified.

Hourly earnings. Data are for wage and salary workers who are paid by the hour and refer to a person’s sole or principal job. Hourly earnings for hourly paid workers do not include overtime pay, commissions, or tips received.

Workers paid at or below the prevailing federal minimum wage. The estimates of the numbers of workers with reported earnings at or below the federal minimum wage pertain only to workers who are paid hourly rates. Salaried workers and the other nonhourly paid workers are excluded. 

Regular collection of earnings data in the basic CPS began in 1979. The prevailing federal minimum wage for 1979 and later years is listed below:

 

Federal minimum wage Effective date

$2.90

January 1, 1979

$3.10

January 1, 1980

$3.35

January 1, 1981

$3.80

April 1, 1990

$4.25

April 1, 1991

$4.75

October 1, 1996

$5.15

September 1, 1997

$5.85

July 24, 2007

$6.55

July 24, 2008

$7.25

July 24, 2009

 

Estimates of the annual average number of minimum wage workers for years when the minimum wage increased reflect both minimum wage levels in effect during the year. For example, data for 2007 reflect the number of workers at or below the federal minimum of $5.15 for January to July and $5.85 for August to December.

Full-time workers. People who usually work 35 hours or more per week at their sole or principal job are defined as working full time.

Part-time workers. People who usually work fewer than 35 hours per week at their sole or principal job are defined as working part time.

Race. In the survey process, race is determined by the household respondent. In accordance with the Office of Management and Budget guidelines, White, Black or African American, Asian, American Indian or Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander are terms used to describe a person’s race. The latter two race groups and people who selected more than one race are included in totals but not separately identified in this report because the number of survey respondents is too small to develop estimates of sufficient quality.

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity. These are people who identified themselves in the survey process as being of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin. People whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race.

Interpreting minimum wage data

The CPS does not determine whether workers are covered by the minimum wage provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or by individual state or local minimum wage laws. The estimates of workers paid at or below the federal minimum wage are based solely on the hourly wage that respondents report (which does not include overtime pay, tips, or commissions). It should be noted that some respondents might round hourly earnings when answering survey questions. As a result, some workers might be reported as having hourly earnings above or below the federal minimum wage when, in fact, they earn the minimum wage.

Some workers reported as earning at or below the prevailing federal minimum wage may not, in fact, be covered by federal or state minimum wage laws because of exclusions and exemptions in the statutes. Thus, the presence of workers with hourly earnings below the federal minimum wage does not necessarily indicate violations of the FLSA or state statutes in cases where such standards apply.

Estimates of the number of minimum wage workers in this report 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 report likely underestimate the actual number of workers with hourly earnings at or below the minimum wage. BLS does not routinely estimate the hourly earnings of workers not paid by the hour because of data-quality concerns associated with constructing such an estimate.

A number of states have established minimum wage rates that exceed the federal level. (Information on state minimum wage laws is available at www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/america.htm.) Users should be cautious about comparing state estimates in this report because of differing statutory minimum wages. It also should be noted that the CPS sample is based on residence; workers report their earnings on their job, which may or may not be located in the same state in which they live. In addition, the degree of sampling error may be quite large for some state estimates.

Reliability

Statistics based on the CPS are subject to both sampling and nonsampling error. When a sample, rather than the entire population, is surveyed, there is a chance that the sample estimates may differ from the true population values they represent. The component of this difference that occurs because samples differ by chance is known as sampling error, and its variability is measured by the standard error of the estimate. There is about a 90-percent chance, or level of confidence, that an estimate based on a sample will differ by no more than 1.6 standard errors from the true population value because of sampling error. BLS analyses are generally conducted at the 90-percent level of confidence.

The CPS data also are affected by nonsampling error. Nonsampling error can occur for many reasons, including the failure to sample a segment of the population, inability to obtain information for all respondents in the sample, inability or unwillingness of respondents to provide correct information, and errors made in the collection or processing of the data. For example, respondents may round their hourly earnings to whole dollars when answering survey questions.

Information about the reliability of data from the CPS is available on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/cps/documentation.htm#reliability.