How many people within the US work on minimum wage?

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Posted by Andrew Hancock (MONEY FORUMS: 4, Answers: 0)
Asked on May 8, 2016 9:01 pm
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Hi Andrew! Thank you for writing. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says this about minimum wage workers: “In 2014, 77.2 million workers age 16 and older in the United States were paid at hourly rates, representing 58.7 percent of all wage and salary workers. Among those paid by the hour, 1.3 million earned exactly the prevailing federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. About 1.7 million had wages below the federal minimum. Together, these 3.0 million workers with wages at or below the federal minimum made up 3.9 percent of all hourly paid workers.” From http://www.bls.gov/opub/reports/minimum-wage/archive/characteristics-of-minimum-wage-workers-2014.pdf. If these workers work a 40 hour a week job, they earn $15,080 for the year. Federal poverty levels for one person are $11,880 and $16,020 for 2 in a household, so it would be hard to make it on minimum wage. I think it’s also important to keep in mind that many of these workers don’t even get 40 hours of work – they are in retail or restaurant service or other industries that tend to hire part time workers, so they aren’t evening earning that $15K per year. Another disturbing trend is the rise in temporary workers whose employment situation is even more tenuous. It’s hard enough for people with full-time income they can depend on to manage cash flow well and live a safe financial life; those who can’t count on a regular paycheck have it even harder.
I hope this was the information you were looking for; if not, please write back!

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Posted by Kathryn Hauer (MONEY FORUMS: 0, Answers: 18)
Answered: May 11, 2016 5:42 am