Characteristics of Minimum Wage Workers: 2008
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Bureau of Labor Statistics
[Excerpt] According to Current Population Survey estimates for 2008, 75.3 million American workers age 16 and over were paid at hourly rates, representing 58.2 percent of all wage and salary workers. On July 24, 2008, the Federal minimum wage increased to $6.55 per hour from $5.85 per hour. Data in this report reflect the average number of workers earning the prevailing Federal minimum wage or less for the year (those who earned $5.85 or less from January 2008 through July 2008 and those who earned $6.55 or less from August 2008 through the end of the year). Among those paid by the hour, 286,000 earned exactly the prevailing Federal minimum wage in 2008. About 1.9 million had wages below the minimum. Together, these 2.2 million workers with wages at or below the minimum made up 3.0 percent of all hourlypaid workers. Tables 1-10 present data on a wide array of demographic and socioeconomic characteristics for hourly-paid workers earning at or below the Federal minimum wage.
minimum wage; wage and salary workers; income; employment; demographics