New report provides profile of minimum wage workforce

Some 83,000 Minnesotans – many of them women and heads of households – make $7.25 an hour or less, according to the 2013 Minnesota Minimum-Wage Report released Thursday by the state Department of Labor and Industry.

The report (available here) presents trends and statistics about minimum-wage workers in Minnesota from August 2012 through July 2013. Among its findings:

  • There are approximately 1.57 million hourly workers in Minnesota.
  • An estimated 83,000 Minnesota hourly workers make $7.25 an hour or less. This means 5.2 percent of all Minnesota hourly workers make the federal minimum wage or less.
  • Forty-seven percent of the minimum-wage workers work in eating and drinking places; 55 percent of these minimum-wage workers receive overtime, tips or commissions.
  • Forty percent of the minimum-wage workers are older than 24.
  • Women are more likely than men to be paid the minimum wage.
  • Fifty-eight percent of minimum-wage workers have some college education.
  • Ten percent of adult minimum-wage workers do not have a high school diploma.
  • Twenty percent of minimum-wage workers are at or below the poverty line.
  • In 2013 dollars, the Minnesota minimum wage fell 30 percent from 1974 to 2013 and the federal minimum wage fell 25 percent.

Minnesota's minimum wage is $5.25 an hour for employers with less than $625,000 in annual business and $6.15 for businesses with more than $625,000. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 for employers with more than $500,000 in annual business. The report uses the federal $7.25 hourly wage for its analysis.

In the 2014 session that starts Feb. 25, the Minnesota Legislature is expected to debate an increase in the state minimum wage. Last year, the House passed legislation raising the wage to $9.50 an hour.

  • Why shouldn't all workers receive living wages? If employers don't want to pay workers real living wages in line with actual cost-of-living factors let them do the work themselves. - by Alan L. Maki on Tue, 04/08/2014 - 10:43pm

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