Minimum wage workers account for 4.3 percent of hourly paid workers in 2013
April 03, 2014
In 2013, there were 3.3 million hourly paid workers in the United States with wages at or below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. These workers made up 4.3 percent of the 75.9 million workers age 16 and over who were paid at hourly rates. In 2013, about 5 percent of women who were paid hourly rates had wages at or below the federal minimum, compared with about 3 percent of men.
Note: Data for 1990–1991, 1996–1997, and 2007–2009 reflect changes in the minimum wage that took place during those years.
The percentage of hourly paid workers earning the federal minimum wage or less declined from 4.7 percent in 2012 to 4.3 percent in 2013. This remains well below the figure of 13.4 percent in 1979, when data were first collected on a regular basis.
Among occupational groups, the highest percentage of hourly paid workers earning at or below the federal minimum wage was in food preparation and serving‑related jobs, at about 22 percent. Nearly half of the 3.3 million workers earning the federal minimum wage or less in 2013 were employed in these jobs.
Total, 16 years and older
Management, professional, and related occupations
Management, business, and financial operations occupations
Professional and related occupations
Healthcare support occupations
Protective service occupations
Food preparation and serving related occupations
Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations
Personal care and service occupations
Sales and office occupations
Sales and related occupations
Office and administrative support occupations
Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations
Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations
Construction and extraction occupations
Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations
Production, transportation, and material moving occupations
Transportation and material moving occupations
These data are from the Current Population Survey. For more information, see Characteristics of Minimum Wage Workers, 2013 (PDF). Data are for wage and salary workers age 16 and older and refer to earnings on a person's sole or principal job. Hourly earnings for hourly paid workers do not include overtime pay, commissions, or tips received. The estimates of the number of workers with reported earnings at or below the federal minimum wage pertain only to workers who are paid hourly rates. Salaried workers and other nonhourly paid workers are excluded. All self-employed persons also are excluded, regardless of whether their businesses are incorporated.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Minimum wage workers account for 4.3 percent of hourly paid workers in 2013 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2014/ted_20140403.htm (visited November 26, 2014).
Three recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
Housing: before, during, and after the Great Recession
looks at consumer expenditures on household items, employment in residential construction, prices for household items, and injuries in occupations involved in building and maintaining our homes.
Women veterans in the labor force examines the demographic, employment, and unemployment characteristics of women veterans.
BLS Statistics by Occupation provides an overview of occupational employment and wages with an emphasis on STEM jobs and occupational data by typical entry-level education required.