March 2019 Report 1078

Characteristics of minimum wage workers, 2018

Characteristics of minimum wage workers, 2018 image

In 2018, 81.9 million workers age 16 and older in the United States were paid at hourly rates, representing 58.5 percent of all wage and salary workers. Among those paid by the hour, 434,000 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 1.7 million workers with wages at or below the federal minimum made up 2.1 percent of all hourly paid workers.

The percentage of hourly paid workers earning the prevailing federal minimum wage or less edged down from 2.3 percent in 2017 to 2.1 percent in 2018. 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 2018. 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 2018 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 just under 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 2018, 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 Black or African American 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 3 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. Among workers paid an hourly wage, those who were never married, who tend to be young, were more likely (about 4 percent) than married workers (1 percent) to earn the federal minimum wage or less. (See table 8.)

Full- and part-time status. About 5 percent of part-time workers (people 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 6 percent. Just under three-fourths of workers earning the minimum wage or less in 2018 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: Louisiana (about 5 percent) and South Carolina (about 4 percent). In the District of Columbia, about 4 percent of workers were paid at or below the federal minimum. The states with the lowest percentages of hourly paid workers earning at or below the federal minimum wage were in the West or Midwest: Alaska, Minnesota, Oregon, and Washington (all were less than 1 percent). It should be noted that more than half of states have minimum wages that exceed the federal minimum. (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, 2018 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

81,915 1,711 434 1,276 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 2.1 0.5 1.6

16 to 24 years

15,963 805 271 534 19.5 47.1 62.5 41.8 5.0 1.7 3.3

16 to 19 years

4,751 361 166 195 5.8 21.1 38.2 15.3 7.6 3.5 4.1

25 years and older

65,952 905 163 742 80.5 52.9 37.5 58.2 1.4 0.2 1.1

Men, 16 years and older

40,691 632 168 464 49.7 37.0 38.6 36.4 1.6 0.4 1.1

16 to 24 years

7,994 301 115 186 9.8 17.6 26.6 14.6 3.8 1.4 2.3

16 to 19 years

2,261 133 63 69 2.8 7.8 14.6 5.4 5.9 2.8 3.1

25 years and older

32,698 331 52 278 39.9 19.3 12.1 21.8 1.0 0.2 0.9

Women, 16 years and older

41,223 1,078 267 812 50.3 63.0 61.4 63.6 2.6 0.6 2.0

16 to 24 years

7,969 504 156 348 9.7 29.4 35.9 27.2 6.3 2.0 4.4

16 to 19 years

2,491 228 103 125 3.0 13.3 23.6 9.8 9.2 4.1 5.0

25 years and older

33,254 575 110 464 40.6 33.6 25.4 36.4 1.7 0.3 1.4

Race and Hispanic
or Latino ethnicity

White(1)

62,204 1,242 283 958 75.9 72.6 65.2 75.1 2.0 0.5 1.5

Men

31,509 434 101 333 38.5 25.4 23.3 26.1 1.4 0.3 1.1

Women

30,695 808 182 626 37.5 47.2 41.9 49.0 2.6 0.6 2.0

Black or African American(1)

12,135 313 114 198 14.8 18.3 26.3 15.5 2.6 0.9 1.6

Men

5,537 137 52 85 6.8 8.0 11.9 6.7 2.5 0.9 1.5

Women

6,598 175 63 113 8.1 10.3 14.4 8.8 2.7 0.9 1.7

Asian(1)

4,130 69 16 53 5.0 4.0 3.7 4.1 1.7 0.4 1.3

Men

1,909 23 6 17 2.3 1.4 1.4 1.3 1.2 0.3 0.9

Women

2,221 46 10 36 2.7 2.7 2.3 2.8 2.1 0.4 1.6

Hispanic or Latino(1)

17,452 324 78 246 21.3 18.9 18.1 19.2 1.9 0.4 1.4

Men

9,543 131 26 105 11.7 7.6 6.0 8.2 1.4 0.3 1.1

Women

7,909 194 52 141 9.7 11.3 12.1 11.1 2.4 0.7 1.8

Full- and part-time status

Full-time workers(2)

61,650 742 121 621 75.3 43.4 27.8 48.7 1.2 0.2 1.0

Men

33,736 288 45 244 41.2 16.9 10.3 19.1 0.9 0.1 0.7

Women

27,913 454 76 377 34.1 26.5 17.6 29.6 1.6 0.3 1.4

Part-time workers(2)

20,155 965 312 653 24.6 56.4 71.9 51.2 4.8 1.5 3.2

Men

6,895 341 122 219 8.4 19.9 28.1 17.2 4.9 1.8 3.2

Women

13,260 624 190 434 16.2 36.5 43.8 34.0 4.7 1.4 3.3

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, 2018 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

81,915 1,711 434 1,276 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 2.1 0.5 1.6

Northeast

13,443 272 69 203 16.4 15.9 16.0 15.9 2.0 0.5 1.5

New England

3,863 76 6 70 4.7 4.5 1.4 5.5 2.0 0.2 1.8

Middle Atlantic

9,580 196 63 133 11.7 11.5 14.5 10.4 2.0 0.7 1.4

Midwest

19,182 360 73 287 23.4 21.1 16.9 22.5 1.9 0.4 1.5

East North Central

13,044 261 50 211 15.9 15.3 11.5 16.6 2.0 0.4 1.6

West North Central

6,138 99 23 76 7.5 5.8 5.3 5.9 1.6 0.4 1.2

South

29,457 855 239 615 36.0 50.0 55.1 48.2 2.9 0.8 2.1

South Atlantic

15,191 397 85 312 18.5 23.2 19.5 24.4 2.6 0.6 2.1

East South Central

4,793 147 63 84 5.9 8.6 14.6 6.6 3.1 1.3 1.7

West South Central

9,472 311 91 220 11.6 18.2 21.0 17.3 3.3 1.0 2.3

West

19,832 223 52 171 24.2 13.0 12.1 13.4 1.1 0.3 0.9

Mountain

6,458 99 25 74 7.9 5.8 5.8 5.8 1.5 0.4 1.1

Pacific

13,374 124 27 96 16.3 7.2 6.3 7.5 0.9 0.2 0.7

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, 2018 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

81,915 1,711 434 1,276 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 2.1 0.5 1.6

Alabama

1,220 37 19 18 1.5 2.2 4.3 1.4 3.1 1.5 1.5

Alaska

198 2 0 2 0.2 0.1 0.0 0.1 0.8 0.0 0.8

Arizona

1,901 20 3 17 2.3 1.1 0.6 1.3 1.0 0.1 0.9

Arkansas

759 12 3 9 0.9 0.7 0.7 0.7 1.5 0.4 1.1

California

9,798 93 23 70 12.0 5.4 5.3 5.5 1.0 0.2 0.7

Colorado

1,290 21 4 17 1.6 1.2 0.8 1.3 1.6 0.3 1.3

Connecticut

937 15 1 15 1.1 0.9 0.2 1.1 1.6 0.1 1.6

Delaware

265 5 1 4 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.3 1.9 0.3 1.6

District of Columbia

121 4 1 3 0.1 0.3 0.3 0.2 3.7 1.1 2.6

Florida

4,892 112 9 104 6.0 6.6 2.0 8.1 2.3 0.2 2.1

Georgia

2,343 53 18 35 2.9 3.1 4.1 2.7 2.3 0.8 1.5

Hawaii

353 8 1 7 0.4 0.4 0.2 0.5 2.2 0.2 1.9

Idaho

485 11 4 7 0.6 0.6 0.9 0.6 2.3 0.8 1.5

Illinois

3,277 55 8 47 4.0 3.2 1.9 3.7 1.7 0.3 1.4

Indiana

1,954 52 16 36 2.4 3.0 3.7 2.8 2.6 0.8 1.8

Iowa

949 20 6 15 1.2 1.2 1.3 1.1 2.1 0.6 1.5

Kansas

805 17 7 11 1.0 1.0 1.5 0.8 2.2 0.8 1.3

Kentucky

1,157 30 10 20 1.4 1.7 2.3 1.6 2.6 0.9 1.7

Louisiana

1,092 49 13 36 1.3 2.9 2.9 2.8 4.5 1.2 3.3

Maine

360 7 0 6 0.4 0.4 0.1 0.5 1.8 0.1 1.7

Maryland

1,400 31 4 26 1.7 1.8 1.0 2.1 2.2 0.3 1.9

Massachusetts

1,709 32 2 30 2.1 1.9 0.4 2.4 1.9 0.1 1.8

Michigan

2,780 46 6 40 3.4 2.7 1.4 3.1 1.7 0.2 1.4

Minnesota

1,622 11 1 10 2.0 0.6 0.3 0.7 0.7 0.1 0.6

Mississippi

721 22 11 11 0.9 1.3 2.4 0.9 3.0 1.5 1.5

Missouri

1,669 34 8 26 2.0 2.0 1.9 2.0 2.0 0.5 1.6

Montana

300 3 1 2 0.4 0.2 0.3 0.1 1.0 0.4 0.6

Nebraska

588 9 0 9 0.7 0.5 0.1 0.7 1.6 0.1 1.5

Nevada

944 13 4 8 1.2 0.7 1.0 0.7 1.3 0.5 0.9

New Hampshire

391 12 1 11 0.5 0.7 0.3 0.8 3.0 0.3 2.7

New Jersey

1,813 37 10 27 2.2 2.2 2.3 2.1 2.0 0.5 1.5

New Mexico

530 15 2 13 0.6 0.9 0.4 1.0 2.8 0.3 2.5

New York

4,339 63 8 55 5.3 3.7 1.9 4.3 1.5 0.2 1.3

North Carolina

2,562 79 26 53 3.1 4.6 6.0 4.1 3.1 1.0 2.1

North Dakota

228 3 1 2 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.2 1.5 0.4 1.1

Ohio

3,224 66 5 61 3.9 3.9 1.2 4.8 2.1 0.2 1.9

Oklahoma

945 24 9 16 1.2 1.4 2.0 1.2 2.6 0.9 1.7

Oregon

1,094 8 2 6 1.3 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.8 0.2 0.6

Pennsylvania

3,428 96 45 51 4.2 5.6 10.3 4.0 2.8 1.3 1.5

Rhode Island

290 7 2 5 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 2.3 0.5 1.7

South Carolina

1,162 48 15 33 1.4 2.8 3.5 2.6 4.1 1.3 2.8

South Dakota

276 4 0 4 0.3 0.2 0.1 0.3 1.5 0.2 1.3

Tennessee

1,696 58 24 34 2.1 3.4 5.6 2.7 3.4 1.4 2.0

Texas

6,677 226 67 160 8.2 13.2 15.3 12.5 3.4 1.0 2.4

Utah

847 14 7 7 1.0 0.8 1.5 0.5 1.6 0.8 0.8

Vermont

175 4 1 4 0.2 0.3 0.2 0.3 2.5 0.4 2.1

Virginia

1,991 56 8 48 2.4 3.3 1.9 3.8 2.8 0.4 2.4

Washington

1,931 13 1 12 2.4 0.7 0.2 0.9 0.7 0.1 0.6

West Virginia

455 8 2 6 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.5 1.8 0.4 1.4

Wisconsin

1,809 42 15 28 2.2 2.5 3.3 2.2 2.3 0.8 1.5

Wyoming

161 4 1 3 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 2.5 0.6 1.8

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, 2018 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

81,915 1,711 434 1,276 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 2.1 0.5 1.6

Management, professional, and related occupations

19,040 90 26 64 23.2 5.3 6.0 5.0 0.5 0.1 0.3

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

5,725 27 2 24 7.0 1.6 0.5 1.9 0.5 0.0 0.4

Professional and related occupations

13,314 63 24 39 16.3 3.7 5.5 3.1 0.5 0.2 0.3

Service occupations

19,509 1,229 206 1,023 23.8 71.8 47.3 80.2 6.3 1.1 5.2

Healthcare support occupations

2,997 50 5 45 3.7 2.9 1.2 3.5 1.7 0.2 1.5

Protective service occupations

2,067 38 9 29 2.5 2.2 2.2 2.3 1.8 0.5 1.4

Food preparation and serving related occupations

7,141 968 131 837 8.7 56.6 30.1 65.6 13.6 1.8 11.7

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations

4,023 65 23 42 4.9 3.8 5.3 3.3 1.6 0.6 1.1

Personal care and service occupations

3,281 108 37 71 4.0 6.3 8.6 5.5 3.3 1.1 2.2

Sales and office occupations

20,183 226 150 75 24.6 13.2 34.6 5.9 1.1 0.7 0.4

Sales and related occupations

8,046 140 105 35 9.8 8.2 24.1 2.7 1.7 1.3 0.4

Office and administrative support occupations

12,137 86 46 40 14.8 5.0 10.5 3.1 0.7 0.4 0.3

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

9,369 39 8 32 11.4 2.3 1.7 2.5 0.4 0.1 0.3

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

754 5 2 3 0.9 0.3 0.4 0.3 0.7 0.2 0.5

Construction and extraction occupations

5,188 14 0 14 6.3 0.8 0.0 1.1 0.3 0.0 0.3

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

3,426 20 6 15 4.2 1.2 1.4 1.1 0.6 0.2 0.4

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

13,814 127 45 83 16.9 7.4 10.2 6.5 0.9 0.3 0.6

Production occupations

6,981 43 17 26 8.5 2.5 3.9 2.0 0.6 0.2 0.4

Transportation and material moving occupations

6,833 84 28 57 8.3 4.9 6.4 4.5 1.2 0.4 0.8

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, 2018 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

81,915 1,711 434 1,276 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 2.1 0.5 1.6

Private sector

72,234 1,622 403 1,219 88.2 94.8 92.7 95.6 2.2 0.6 1.7

Agriculture and related industries

908 6 1 5 1.1 0.4 0.3 0.4 0.7 0.1 0.5

Nonagricultural industries

71,326 1,616 401 1,215 87.1 94.5 92.4 95.2 2.3 0.6 1.7

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction

424 1 0 1 0.5 0.1 0.0 0.1 0.3 0.0 0.3

Construction

5,502 12 1 11 6.7 0.7 0.1 0.9 0.2 0.0 0.2

Manufacturing

9,407 62 19 43 11.5 3.6 4.3 3.4 0.7 0.2 0.5

Durable goods

5,837 26 4 22 7.1 1.5 1.0 1.7 0.4 0.1 0.4

Nondurable goods

3,570 36 14 21 4.4 2.1 3.3 1.7 1.0 0.4 0.6

Wholesale and retail trade

12,988 149 95 54 15.9 8.7 21.9 4.2 1.1 0.7 0.4

Wholesale trade

1,686 6 2 4 2.1 0.4 0.6 0.3 0.4 0.1 0.2

Retail trade

11,302 143 93 50 13.8 8.4 21.3 3.9 1.3 0.8 0.4

Transportation and utilities

3,742 26 3 23 4.6 1.5 0.8 1.8 0.7 0.1 0.6

Information

1,118 12 5 8 1.4 0.7 1.1 0.6 1.1 0.4 0.7

Financial activities

3,599 18 5 13 4.4 1.0 1.1 1.0 0.5 0.1 0.4

Professional and business services

6,812 80 21 59 8.3 4.7 4.9 4.6 1.2 0.3 0.9

Education and health services

14,262 132 46 85 17.4 7.7 10.7 6.7 0.9 0.3 0.6

Leisure and hospitality

9,959 1,049 181 868 12.2 61.3 41.7 68.0 10.5 1.8 8.7

Other services

3,514 75 25 50 4.3 4.4 5.8 3.9 2.1 0.7 1.4

Public sector

9,681 89 32 57 11.8 5.2 7.3 4.4 0.9 0.3 0.6

Federal

1,853 12 3 9 2.3 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.6 0.2 0.5

State

2,914 34 21 13 3.6 2.0 4.9 1.0 1.2 0.7 0.4

Local

4,913 43 8 35 6.0 2.5 1.8 2.8 0.9 0.2 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, 2018 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

81,915 1,711 434 1,276 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 2.1 0.5 1.6

Less than a high school diploma

9,579 330 170 160 11.7 19.3 39.0 12.6 3.4 1.8 1.7

Less than 1 year of high school

2,657 39 13 26 3.2 2.3 3.0 2.1 1.5 0.5 1.0

1 to 3 years of high school

5,548 242 140 102 6.8 14.1 32.2 8.0 4.4 2.5 1.8

4 years of high school, no diploma

1,374 49 17 32 1.7 2.8 3.9 2.5 3.5 1.2 2.3

High school graduates or more

72,335 1,381 265 1,116 88.3 80.7 61.0 87.4 1.9 0.4 1.5

High school graduates, no college

27,305 538 112 426 33.3 31.5 25.8 33.4 2.0 0.4 1.6

Some college or associate degree

28,012 606 128 478 34.2 35.4 29.5 37.4 2.2 0.5 1.7

Some college, no degree

17,700 469 97 372 21.6 27.4 22.3 29.2 2.6 0.5 2.1

Associate degree

10,312 137 31 106 12.6 8.0 7.2 8.3 1.3 0.3 1.0

Occupational program

4,495 48 8 40 5.5 2.8 1.9 3.2 1.1 0.2 0.9

Academic program

5,817 89 23 65 7.1 5.2 5.4 5.1 1.5 0.4 1.1

Bachelor's degree and higher

17,019 237 25 212 20.8 13.8 5.6 16.6 1.4 0.1 1.2

Bachelor's degree

13,145 198 18 179 16.0 11.5 4.2 14.0 1.5 0.1 1.4

Master's degree

3,141 32 5 27 3.8 1.9 1.1 2.1 1.0 0.2 0.9

Professional degree

335 3 0 3 0.4 0.2 0.0 0.3 1.0 0.0 1.0

Doctoral degree

399 4 1 3 0.5 0.2 0.3 0.2 1.0 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 7. Wage and salary workers paid hourly rates with earnings at or below the prevailing federal minimum wage, by age and gender, 2018 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

81,915 1,711 434 1,276 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 2.1 0.5 1.6

16 to 24 years

15,963 805 271 534 19.5 47.1 62.5 41.8 5.0 1.7 3.3

16 to 19 years

4,751 361 166 195 5.8 21.1 38.2 15.3 7.6 3.5 4.1

20 to 24 years

11,211 444 106 339 13.7 26.0 24.3 26.6 4.0 0.9 3.0

25 years and older

65,952 905 163 742 80.5 52.9 37.5 58.2 1.4 0.2 1.1

25 to 34 years

19,831 349 65 285 24.2 20.4 14.9 22.3 1.8 0.3 1.4

25 to 29 years

10,891 217 43 174 13.3 12.7 9.9 13.6 2.0 0.4 1.6

30 to 34 years

8,940 133 22 111 10.9 7.8 5.0 8.7 1.5 0.2 1.2

35 to 44 years

15,181 219 38 181 18.5 12.8 8.7 14.2 1.4 0.3 1.2

35 to 39 years

8,043 121 18 103 9.8 7.1 4.2 8.0 1.5 0.2 1.3

40 to 44 years

7,138 98 20 78 8.7 5.7 4.5 6.1 1.4 0.3 1.1

45 to 54 years

14,610 161 25 136 17.8 9.4 5.9 10.6 1.1 0.2 0.9

45 to 49 years

7,313 88 13 75 8.9 5.2 3.0 5.9 1.2 0.2 1.0

50 to 54 years

7,297 73 13 60 8.9 4.3 2.9 4.7 1.0 0.2 0.8

55 to 64 years

12,303 116 18 98 15.0 6.8 4.1 7.7 0.9 0.1 0.8

55 to 59 years

7,123 66 7 59 8.7 3.8 1.6 4.6 0.9 0.1 0.8

60 to 64 years

5,180 50 11 39 6.3 2.9 2.6 3.1 1.0 0.2 0.8

65 years and older

4,027 60 17 43 4.9 3.5 3.8 3.4 1.5 0.4 1.1

65 to 69 years

2,300 38 10 28 2.8 2.2 2.4 2.2 1.7 0.4 1.2

70 years and older

1,727 22 6 15 2.1 1.3 1.5 1.2 1.2 0.4 0.9

Men

Total, 16 years and older

40,691 632 168 464 49.7 37.0 38.6 36.4 1.6 0.4 1.1

16 to 24 years

7,994 301 115 186 9.8 17.6 26.6 14.6 3.8 1.4 2.3

16 to 19 years

2,261 133 63 69 2.8 7.8 14.6 5.4 5.9 2.8 3.1

20 to 24 years

5,733 169 52 117 7.0 9.9 12.0 9.1 2.9 0.9 2.0

25 years and older

32,698 331 52 278 39.9 19.3 12.1 21.8 1.0 0.2 0.9

25 to 34 years

10,371 132 17 115 12.7 7.7 3.9 9.0 1.3 0.2 1.1

25 to 29 years

5,717 81 14 67 7.0 4.7 3.2 5.3 1.4 0.2 1.2

30 to 34 years

4,654 51 3 48 5.7 3.0 0.8 3.7 1.1 0.1 1.0

35 to 44 years

7,748 89 17 72 9.5 5.2 3.9 5.7 1.2 0.2 0.9

35 to 39 years

4,153 52 11 41 5.1 3.0 2.6 3.2 1.3 0.3 1.0

40 to 44 years

3,595 37 6 31 4.4 2.2 1.3 2.5 1.0 0.2 0.9

45 to 54 years

6,966 56 10 46 8.5 3.3 2.2 3.6 0.8 0.1 0.7

45 to 49 years

3,507 33 5 27 4.3 1.9 1.2 2.1 0.9 0.2 0.8

50 to 54 years

3,459 23 4 19 4.2 1.4 1.0 1.5 0.7 0.1 0.6

55 to 64 years

5,761 41 6 34 7.0 2.4 1.5 2.7 0.7 0.1 0.6

55 to 59 years

3,366 28 4 24 4.1 1.6 0.9 1.9 0.8 0.1 0.7

60 to 64 years

2,395 13 2 11 2.9 0.8 0.5 0.8 0.5 0.1 0.4

65 years and older

1,852 13 2 11 2.3 0.8 0.5 0.8 0.7 0.1 0.6

65 to 69 years

1,018 8 1 7 1.2 0.5 0.3 0.5 0.8 0.1 0.7

70 years and older

833 5 1 4 1.0 0.3 0.2 0.3 0.6 0.1 0.5

Women

Total, 16 years and older

41,223 1,078 267 812 50.3 63.0 61.4 63.6 2.6 0.6 2.0

16 to 24 years

7,969 504 156 348 9.7 29.4 35.9 27.2 6.3 2.0 4.4

16 to 19 years

2,491 228 103 125 3.0 13.3 23.6 9.8 9.2 4.1 5.0

20 to 24 years

5,479 276 53 222 6.7 16.1 12.3 17.4 5.0 1.0 4.1

25 years and older

33,254 575 110 464 40.6 33.6 25.4 36.4 1.7 0.3 1.4

25 to 34 years

9,460 217 48 170 11.5 12.7 11.0 13.3 2.3 0.5 1.8

25 to 29 years

5,174 136 29 106 6.3 7.9 6.7 8.3 2.6 0.6 2.1

30 to 34 years

4,286 82 19 63 5.2 4.8 4.3 5.0 1.9 0.4 1.5

35 to 44 years

7,433 130 21 109 9.1 7.6 4.8 8.5 1.7 0.3 1.5

35 to 39 years

3,890 69 7 62 4.7 4.0 1.6 4.8 1.8 0.2 1.6

40 to 44 years

3,543 61 14 47 4.3 3.6 3.2 3.7 1.7 0.4 1.3

45 to 54 years

7,645 105 16 90 9.3 6.2 3.6 7.0 1.4 0.2 1.2

45 to 49 years

3,806 56 8 48 4.6 3.3 1.7 3.8 1.5 0.2 1.3

50 to 54 years

3,839 50 8 41 4.7 2.9 1.9 3.2 1.3 0.2 1.1

55 to 64 years

6,542 75 11 64 8.0 4.4 2.6 5.0 1.1 0.2 1.0

55 to 59 years

3,757 38 3 35 4.6 2.2 0.6 2.7 1.0 0.1 0.9

60 to 64 years

2,785 37 9 29 3.4 2.2 2.0 2.2 1.3 0.3 1.0

65 years and older

2,175 47 14 33 2.7 2.8 3.3 2.6 2.2 0.7 1.5

65 to 69 years

1,281 30 9 21 1.6 1.8 2.0 1.7 2.4 0.7 1.7

70 years and older

894 17 6 11 1.1 1.0 1.3 0.9 1.9 0.6 1.3

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, 2018 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

81,915 1,711 434 1,276 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 2.1 0.5 1.6

Never married

33,131 1,146 328 818 40.4 67.0 75.4 64.1 3.5 1.0 2.5

16 to 24 years

14,567 766 258 508 17.8 44.8 59.3 39.8 5.3 1.8 3.5

25 years and older

18,564 380 70 310 22.7 22.2 16.1 24.3 2.0 0.4 1.7

25 to 54 years

16,959 349 64 285 20.7 20.4 14.8 22.3 2.1 0.4 1.7

Married, spouse present(1)

35,753 361 58 302 43.6 21.1 13.4 23.7 1.0 0.2 0.8

16 to 24 years

1,003 28 10 19 1.2 1.7 2.2 1.5 2.8 1.0 1.9

25 years and older

34,750 332 49 283 42.4 19.4 11.2 22.2 1.0 0.1 0.8

25 to 54 years

24,639 247 35 212 30.1 14.4 8.1 16.6 1.0 0.1 0.9

Widowed, divorced, or separated(2)

13,030 204 49 155 15.9 11.9 11.2 12.2 1.6 0.4 1.2

16 to 24 years

393 11 4 7 0.5 0.6 0.9 0.5 2.7 1.0 1.7

25 years and older

12,638 193 44 149 15.4 11.3 10.2 11.7 1.5 0.4 1.2

25 to 54 years

8,024 133 29 104 9.8 7.8 6.7 8.2 1.7 0.4 1.3

Men

Total, 16 years and older

40,691 632 168 464 49.7 37.0 38.6 36.4 1.6 0.4 1.1

Never married

17,289 470 142 328 21.1 27.5 32.8 25.7 2.7 0.8 1.9

16 to 24 years

7,413 292 114 178 9.1 17.1 26.2 13.9 3.9 1.5 2.4

25 years and older

9,875 179 29 150 12.1 10.4 6.6 11.8 1.8 0.3 1.5

25 to 54 years

9,123 161 26 135 11.1 9.4 6.0 10.6 1.8 0.3 1.5

Married, spouse present(1)

18,348 111 14 97 22.4 6.5 3.3 7.6 0.6 0.1 0.5

16 to 24 years

419 6 1 5 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.4 1.5 0.3 1.2

25 years and older

17,929 105 13 91 21.9 6.1 3.0 7.2 0.6 0.1 0.5

25 to 54 years

12,695 78 8 70 15.5 4.6 1.9 5.5 0.6 0.1 0.5

Widowed, divorced, or separated(2)

5,055 51 11 40 6.2 3.0 2.6 3.1 1.0 0.2 0.8

16 to 24 years

162 3 0 3 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.2 2.0 0.2 1.7

25 years and older

4,893 48 11 37 6.0 2.8 2.5 2.9 1.0 0.2 0.8

25 to 54 years

3,267 38 9 29 4.0 2.2 2.2 2.2 1.2 0.3 0.9

Women

Total, 16 years and older

41,223 1,078 267 812 50.3 63.0 61.4 63.6 2.6 0.6 2.0

Never married

15,843 676 185 491 19.3 39.5 42.6 38.4 4.3 1.2 3.1

16 to 24 years

7,154 474 144 330 8.7 27.7 33.1 25.9 6.6 2.0 4.6

25 years and older

8,689 201 41 160 10.6 11.8 9.5 12.6 2.3 0.5 1.8

25 to 54 years

7,836 188 38 150 9.6 11.0 8.8 11.8 2.4 0.5 1.9

Married, spouse present(1)

17,405 250 44 206 21.2 14.6 10.1 16.1 1.4 0.3 1.2

16 to 24 years

585 22 8 14 0.7 1.3 1.9 1.1 3.8 1.4 2.3

25 years and older

16,821 228 36 192 20.5 13.3 8.2 15.1 1.4 0.2 1.1

25 to 54 years

11,944 169 27 142 14.6 9.9 6.2 11.1 1.4 0.2 1.2

Widowed, divorced, or separated(2)

7,975 153 37 116 9.7 8.9 8.6 9.1 1.9 0.5 1.4

16 to 24 years

231 7 4 4 0.3 0.4 0.8 0.3 3.2 1.6 1.6

25 years and older

7,744 146 34 112 9.5 8.5 7.8 8.8 1.9 0.4 1.4

25 to 54 years

4,757 95 20 76 5.8 5.6 4.5 5.9 2.0 0.4 1.6

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, 2018 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

81,915 1,711 434 1,276 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 2.1 0.5 1.6

Hours vary

4,390 171 49 122 5.4 10.0 11.3 9.5 3.9 1.1 2.8

0 to 34 hours

18,472 885 282 603 22.6 51.7 64.8 47.3 4.8 1.5 3.3

0 to 4 hours

394 19 8 11 0.5 1.1 1.8 0.9 4.8 2.0 2.9

5 to 9 hours

1,011 59 29 30 1.2 3.5 6.8 2.3 5.8 2.9 2.9

10 to 14 hours

1,616 90 45 45 2.0 5.2 10.3 3.5 5.6 2.8 2.8

15 to 19 hours

2,298 99 44 55 2.8 5.8 10.2 4.3 4.3 1.9 2.4

20 to 24 hours

5,548 258 82 176 6.8 15.1 18.8 13.8 4.6 1.5 3.2

25 to 29 hours

2,730 153 46 107 3.3 9.0 10.5 8.4 5.6 1.7 3.9

30 to 34 hours

4,876 207 28 179 6.0 12.1 6.5 14.0 4.2 0.6 3.7

35 hours or more

59,052 655 104 551 72.1 38.3 23.8 43.2 1.1 0.2 0.9

35 to 39 hours

5,811 158 32 126 7.1 9.2 7.3 9.9 2.7 0.5 2.2

40 hours or more

53,241 497 72 425 65.0 29.1 16.6 33.3 0.9 0.1 0.8

40 hours

45,593 447 63 385 55.7 26.2 14.5 30.1 1.0 0.1 0.8

41 hours or more

7,649 50 9 41 9.3 2.9 2.1 3.2 0.7 0.1 0.5

41 to 44 hours

756 2 1 1 0.9 0.1 0.3 0.1 0.3 0.2 0.1

45 to 48 hours

2,573 27 3 24 3.1 1.6 0.7 1.9 1.0 0.1 0.9

49 to 59 hours

2,990 13 3 10 3.7 0.8 0.7 0.8 0.4 0.1 0.3

60 hours or more

1,330 8 2 6 1.6 0.5 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.1 0.5

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, 1979-2018 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

2018

140,099 81,915 58.5 434 1,276 1,711 2.1

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

2018

72,632 40,691 56.0 168 464 632 1.6

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

2018

67,467 41,223 61.1 267 812 1,078 2.6

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.

The material in this report is in the public domain and may be used without permission.

Upon request this information is available to individuals who are sensory impaired. 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. 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.

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.