Personal Growth

How many workers earn minimum wage? Maps show each state

Roughly one-third of the U.S. workforce—52 million folks—earn lower than $15 an hour, in accordance with a new report from anti-poverty advocacy group Oxfam America. And these staff, whose annual pay involves lower than $31,200 a yr, are disproportionately not white males, the group discovered.

“Women and people of color do much more than their fair share of low-wage jobs, and as wages lose value, it’s becoming a civil rights crisis in this country,” the group stated, including that “these workers provide some of the most essential services in the country . . .  [They] care for our loved ones, transport and harvest our food, stock our shelves, and deliver our packages.”

That ladies and other people of coloration disproportionately comprise America’s lower-wage workforce is hardly information. But Oxfam’s statistics, drawn from the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual American Community Survey information, places this divide in new, sharper aid: While 25% American working males earn lower than $15, for ladies it jumps to 40%. And whereas 26% of white staff earn lower than $15, amongst Hispanic/Latinx staff it will increase to 46%, and amongst Black staff it’s 47%.

Combine gender and race, and the hole climbs even greater: Half of working ladies of coloration earn lower than $15 nationwide. This quantity rises greater than 60% in 18 totally different states, in accordance with Oxfam’s information.

Oxfam’s information additionally present that 89% of staff incomes a sub-$15 wage are age 20 or older, once more complicating the frequent argument towards elevating the minimal wage that assumes most low-wage earners are children. More than half of working single dad and mom—57% (that’s 11.2 million)—additionally fall into this lowest-paid class. Oxfam created a set of interactive maps that plot the share of staff who’re making underneath $15 by state, sorted by gender, race, age, and parenthood standing.

[See more: Oxfam’s interactive maps shows how much workers earn in your state, broken down by age, race, and gender, and family status.

The report comes at a second when wages should not rising, however company income positive are, and inflation is at a report excessive. Everything from electrical energy to medical care is costlier right this moment than it was earlier than the pandemic. A separate report printed final week by the Urban Institute particulars how wages have remained stagnant, at the same time as hire, groceries, automotive costs, gasoline, healthcare, and different staples have gone up by as a lot as 40% in latest months.

A decade after labor activists started pushing for a $15 hourly wage, and some years since some states started passing legal guidelines to enshrine $15 as their new minimal wage, it could be tempting to imagine this wage is extra prevalent than it’s and goes additional than it truly does. Right now, solely California and D.C. have a $15 wage ground. Nearly a dozen states are phasing theirs in however received’t hit the $15 benchmark till, in some circumstances, the yr 2025. Meanwhile, practically 20 states nonetheless use the federal minimal wage, unchanged since 2009, of $7.25 an hour.

According to the Economic Policy Institute’s Minimum Wage Tracker, solely 12 states at present have a minimal wage above $12.50. And as the worth of products and companies retains climbing, even $15 an hour isn’t ok. EPI says a employee must earn a minimum of $14.50 an hour to cowl the price of residing in America’s most reasonably priced county (Orangeburg, South Carolina). For cities like San Francisco, New York, and even Seattle, it goes as excessive as $23.

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