15+ Minimum Wage Statistics & Facts (2022)

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15+ Minimum Wage Statistics & Facts (2022)























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The federal minimum wage has not increased in over ten years, despite continuous increases in the cost of living. How great is the impact of the stagnant minimum wage on American workers? We collected some interesting statistics and facts about minimum wage and minimum wage workers that could provide some answers.

Key Findings

  • The federal minimum wage has been $7.25 since 2009.
  • Adjusted for inflation, the minimum wage was highest in 1968.
  • The state of Washington has the highest minimum wage, at $14.49 per hour.
  • In 2021 181,000 Americans earned minimum wage, while 910,000 Americans earned below minimum wage.
  • Most people earning minimum wage are between 20 and 24 years of age.
  • 76.2% of minimum wage workers are White.
  • 27.2% of those who went to college, but have no degree earn minimum wage.
  • Louisiana is the state with the highest percentage of workers who are paid minimum wage (3.2%).
  • 66% of minimum-wage workers are single.
  • The leisure and hospitality industry employs the highest number of minimum-wage workers.

Minimum Wage in the U.S.

The current Federal minimum has been $7.25 since 2009.[1]
Trusted source
The U.S. Department of Labour
The United States Department of Labor is responsible for the administration of federal laws pertaining to wage and hour regulations, reemployment programs, unemployment compensation, occupational safety and health, and periodically economic data.

Minimum Wage Adjusted for Inflation

In 2022, the federal minimum wage is still $7.25, the same as in 2009. The value of the dollar is falling as prices for everything, from food to fuel, rise. That implies that workers are experiencing a decline in the purchasing power of their earnings.

Adjusted for 2022 dollars, the minimum wage was highest in 1968. Even though the minimum wage has increased steadily over the past century, the purchasing power of the minimum wage has been on the decline since the 60s.

Data show that the minimum wage should be increased to $10.01, to compensate for price increases and prevent the loss of purchasing power of low-income workers.[1]
Trusted source
The U.S. Department of Labour
The United States Department of Labor is responsible for the administration of federal laws pertaining to wage and hour regulations, reemployment programs, unemployment compensation, occupational safety and health, and periodically economic data.
[2]

Minimum Wages by State

Some states impose their own minimum wages, above those mandated by the federal government.

At $16.01, the District of Columbia has the highest minimum wage. Washington, with a $14.49 /hour minimum wage, is the second-highest paying state overall. Georgia and Wyoming ($5.15) have the lowest state minimum wages.

Although the minimum wages in the District of Columbia and Washington appear to be high, both states have higher than average cost of living indices. In 2022, the District of Columbia has an index of 154.5 and Washington has an index of 113.9. Georgia has one of the lowest cost-of-living indices (87.8), while Wyoming’s is a bit higher at 91.8.[9]

33 states have a minimum wage above the federal level, 17 states have a minimum wage below the federal level (but the federal one still applies) and 5 states have no minimum wage.[1]
Trusted source
The U.S. Department of Labour
The United States Department of Labor is responsible for the administration of federal laws pertaining to wage and hour regulations, reemployment programs, unemployment compensation, occupational safety and health, and periodically economic data.

StateCost of living indexMinimum Wage
Mississippi 84.9$7.25
Oklahoma85.7$7.25
Kansas 86.4$7.25
Alabama 87.5$7.25
Georgia87.8$5.15
West Virginia 88.5$8.75
Missouri88.6$11.15
Indiana 88.9$7.25
Iowa 89.0$7.25
Tennessee89.5$7.25
Arkansas 89.9$11
Texas 90.9$7.25
Illinois 91.4$12
Nebraska 91.5$9
Michigan 91.6$9.87
Wyoming 91.8$5.15
Ohio 92.0$9.3
Louisiana 92.8$7.25
New Mexico 93.6$11.5
South Dakota 93.8$9.95
South Carolina 94.2$7.25
Wisconsin 94.8$7.25
North Carolina95.0$7.25
Kentucky 95.2$7.25
North Dakota 96.7$7.25
Minnesota 96.8$10.33
Pennsylvania 97.9$7.25
Puerto Rico98.0$8.50
Idaho 99.7$7.25
Utah 102.4$7.25
Florida 103.0$10
Virginia 103.2$11
Delaware 103.9$10.5
Montana 104.8$9.2
Colorado 105.1$12.56
Nevada 105.4$10.5
Arizona 106.9$12.8
New Hampshire113.2$7.25
Rhode Island 113.8$12.25
Washington 113.9$14.49
Connecticut 116.7$14
Vermont116.7$12.55
Maine 116.9$12.75
New Jersey 118.6$13
Oregon 120.6$13.5
Maryland 125.1$12.5
Alaska 126.7$10.34
New York 136.8$13.2
California 139.8$14
Massachusetts 147.9$14.25
District of Columbia154.5$16.1
Hawaii 189.9$10.1

How Many People Earn Minimum Wage or Less?

910,000 Americans earned below minimum wage in 2021, while 181,000 earned minimum wage. That’s an improvement compared to ten years ago. In 2011 2,152,000 were paid below minimum wage, and 1,677,000 were receiving minimum wage.[3]
Trusted source
Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Bureau of Labor Statistics is the primary fact-finding body for the U.S. Federal Statistical System and the U.S. government in terms of labor economics and statistics.

Who Makes Minimum Wage?

Minimum Wage Workers by Age

20-24-year-olds represent 26.9% of all minimum wage workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This could be because many of them are still in school or just starting their working lives.[4]
Trusted source
Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Bureau of Labor Statistics is the primary fact-finding body for the U.S. Federal Statistical System and the U.S. government in terms of labor economics and statistics.

Minimum Wage Workers by Gender

63.5% of minimum wage workers are women, while only 36.5% of minimum wage workers are men. This means that the number of minimum wage workers that are women is almost double the number of men that earn minimum wage. This could be because there are more women than men who work in service jobs that typically pay minimum wages.[4]
Trusted source
Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Bureau of Labor Statistics is the primary fact-finding body for the U.S. Federal Statistical System and the U.S. government in terms of labor economics and statistics.

Minimum Wage Workers by Race

76.2% of minimum wage workers are White, while only 4% of Asian workers earn minimum wage.[4]
Trusted source
Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Bureau of Labor Statistics is the primary fact-finding body for the U.S. Federal Statistical System and the U.S. government in terms of labor economics and statistics.
[8]

Minimum Wage Workers by Education

According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, 34.4% of minimum wage workers are high school graduates, while only 0.4% of those with a professional degree are minimum wage workers. Workers who went to college but have no degree make up 27.2% of minimum wage workers, a higher percentage than those with 1 to 3 years of high school (10.3%).[4]
Trusted source
Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Bureau of Labor Statistics is the primary fact-finding body for the U.S. Federal Statistical System and the U.S. government in terms of labor economics and statistics.

Minimum Wage Workers by Marital Status

66% of the minimum wage workers have never been married, while 22.8% are married and 11.2% are widowed, divorced, or separated. The younger workers that make up the largest share of the minimum wage workforce are less likely to be married or divorced.[4]
Trusted source
Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Bureau of Labor Statistics is the primary fact-finding body for the U.S. Federal Statistical System and the U.S. government in terms of labor economics and statistics.

Minimum Wage Workers by State

Louisiana is the state with the highest percentage of workers who are paid minimum wage (3.2%). Oregon is the state with the lowest percentage of minimum wage workers, with 0.3%.[4]
Trusted source
Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Bureau of Labor Statistics is the primary fact-finding body for the U.S. Federal Statistical System and the U.S. government in terms of labor economics and statistics.

What Work Do Minimum Wage Earners Do?

The following section offers an overview of the sectors and industries with the highest number of minimum wage workers as well as other common characteristics of minimum wage earners.

Public vs. Private Sector

93.7% of minimum wage earners work in the private sector, whereas only 6.3% of minimum wage earners have a job in the public sector.[4]
Trusted source
Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Bureau of Labor Statistics is the primary fact-finding body for the U.S. Federal Statistical System and the U.S. government in terms of labor economics and statistics.

Minimum Wage Workers by Industry

In 2021, the leisure and hospitality industry had the most significant proportion of employees whose hourly salaries were at or below the federal minimum wage (8%). This industry employed over two-thirds of all workers earning at or below the federal minimum wage, primarily in bars, restaurants, and other food services. Many of these workers may get tips in addition to their hourly pay.[4]
Trusted source
Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Bureau of Labor Statistics is the primary fact-finding body for the U.S. Federal Statistical System and the U.S. government in terms of labor economics and statistics.

Minimum Wage Workers by Full and Part-Time Status

52.2% of minimum wage earners work part-time instead of full-time jobs. Again, this can be influenced by the young age of those working in part-time jobs while they go to school. [4]
Trusted source
Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Bureau of Labor Statistics is the primary fact-finding body for the U.S. Federal Statistical System and the U.S. government in terms of labor economics and statistics.

Which Retail Companies Employ The Highest Number of Low-Wage Workers?

25% of Pizza Hut’s employees earn $10/hour or below. McDonald’s and Subway fall second with 23%. GAP, SpeedWay, and Starbucks have the lowest number of employees paid $10/hour or below, with percentages falling in the 1% to 4% range.[5]

Minimum Wages by Country

Among the countries listed on the map, Luxemburg has the highest hourly rate at $13.4, followed by Australia, France, and Germany, which fall in the $12.8-$12.2 range. The country with the lowest hourly rate is India at $0.35. That shows the hourly rate paid in the U.S. ($7.3) is average compared to those countries.[6]







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