GITNUX REPORT 2024

Minimum Wage And Poverty statistics: State and Local Disparities Revealed

From $7.25 to $15: Minimum Wage and Poverty Stats Deep Dive Reveals Impact and Tensions

Author: Jannik Lindner

First published: 7/17/2024

Statistic 1

17 million workers would see a wage increase with a $15 minimum wage

Statistic 2

A $15 minimum wage could result in 1.4 million job losses

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Increasing the minimum wage to $15 would increase the federal deficit by $54 billion

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Small businesses employ 47.5% of the private workforce in the US

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62% of small business owners support raising the federal minimum wage

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The federal minimum wage has not increased since 2009

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The real value of the federal minimum wage peaked in 1968

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Adjusted for inflation, the federal minimum wage is worth 27% less than 50 years ago

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30 localities have adopted minimum wages above their state minimum wage

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Seattle has one of the highest city minimum wages at $18.69 for large employers

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1.1 million workers earned exactly the federal minimum wage in 2020

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About 1.5% of hourly paid workers earned the federal minimum wage or less

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16- to 24-year-olds make up about 48% of minimum wage workers

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The poverty rate for full-time minimum wage workers is 13.7%

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A full-time minimum wage worker earns $15,080 annually at the federal rate

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The 2023 poverty threshold for a single person is $14,580

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Raising the minimum wage to $15 would lift 900,000 people out of poverty

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29 states and D.C. have minimum wages above the federal minimum wage of $7.25

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California has the highest state minimum wage at $15.50 per hour

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5 states have no state minimum wage law

Statistic 21

21 states use the federal minimum wage of $7.25

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Summary

  • 29 states and D.C. have minimum wages above the federal minimum wage of $7.25
  • California has the highest state minimum wage at $15.50 per hour
  • 5 states have no state minimum wage law
  • 21 states use the federal minimum wage of $7.25
  • 30 localities have adopted minimum wages above their state minimum wage
  • Seattle has one of the highest city minimum wages at $18.69 for large employers
  • The federal minimum wage has not increased since 2009
  • The real value of the federal minimum wage peaked in 1968
  • Adjusted for inflation, the federal minimum wage is worth 27% less than 50 years ago
  • 1.1 million workers earned exactly the federal minimum wage in 2020
  • About 1.5% of hourly paid workers earned the federal minimum wage or less
  • 16- to 24-year-olds make up about 48% of minimum wage workers
  • The poverty rate for full-time minimum wage workers is 13.7%
  • A full-time minimum wage worker earns $15,080 annually at the federal rate
  • The 2023 poverty threshold for a single person is $14,580

Who knew that a number like $7.25 could hold so much weight? With 29 states and D.C. boasting minimum wages higher than the federal rate, and California leading the pack at $15.50 per hour, the battle between minimum wage and poverty wages on. From Seattles eye-popping $18.69 for large employers to the fact that the federal minimum wage hasnt budged since 2009, the statistics paint a vivid picture of the complexities at play. As we navigate the economic landscape where 1.1 million workers earn the bare minimum, its clear that the debate over raising the minimum wage to $15 isnt just about numbers—its about livelihoods, futures, and a hefty $54 billion federal deficit.

Economic Impact

  • 17 million workers would see a wage increase with a $15 minimum wage
  • A $15 minimum wage could result in 1.4 million job losses
  • Increasing the minimum wage to $15 would increase the federal deficit by $54 billion
  • Small businesses employ 47.5% of the private workforce in the US
  • 62% of small business owners support raising the federal minimum wage

Interpretation

The debate over raising the minimum wage to $15 is a high-stakes balancing act, akin to attempting a trapeze routine while juggling economy, politics, and livelihoods. The statistics paint a complex picture: a potential pay raise for 17 million workers could bring cheers, but the possibility of 1.4 million job losses casts a shadow over the celebration. At the same time, the looming $54 billion increase in the federal deficit adds a dramatic twist to the narrative. However, the support of 62% of small business owners for the wage hike challenges the notion that it would solely burden them. In this circus of numbers, the question of who will ultimately benefit or suffer remains a tightrope walk between policy and reality.

Federal Minimum Wage

  • The federal minimum wage has not increased since 2009
  • The real value of the federal minimum wage peaked in 1968
  • Adjusted for inflation, the federal minimum wage is worth 27% less than 50 years ago

Interpretation

In a world where we can order avocado toast with a tap on our smartphones, it seems rather archaic that the federal minimum wage is stuck in a time warp reminiscent of bell-bottoms and lava lamps. Despite our progress in technology and fashion, the real value of the minimum wage has been dwindling like a forgotten disco ball in the attic for over five decades. Adjusted for inflation, it's no surprise that the current minimum wage holds about as much purchasing power as a nickel did in the age of vinyl records. As we gaze back at the glory days of 1968, when the minimum wage shined at its brightest, it's time to tune up the economic playlist and give our workforce a raise that's more 2021 than 1971.

Local Minimum Wages

  • 30 localities have adopted minimum wages above their state minimum wage
  • Seattle has one of the highest city minimum wages at $18.69 for large employers

Interpretation

While some localities are stepping up to combat poverty by adopting minimum wages higher than their state minimum, it seems Seattle is playing a high-stakes game with its minimum wage, coming in at an eye-popping $18.69 for large employers. This wage not only reflects the city's commitment to addressing income inequality but also serves as a stark reminder of the broader socio-economic challenges we face. As these numbers show, the fight for fair compensation is not just a numbers game—it's a crucial step towards lifting individuals out of poverty and towards a more equitable society.

Minimum Wage Workers

  • 1.1 million workers earned exactly the federal minimum wage in 2020
  • About 1.5% of hourly paid workers earned the federal minimum wage or less
  • 16- to 24-year-olds make up about 48% of minimum wage workers

Interpretation

In a world where the minimum wage seems to be stuck in a time capsule, it's no surprise that over a million hard-working individuals found themselves tethered to the federal bare minimum in 2020. With approximately 1.5% of hourly workers scraping by on that same paltry sum, it's clear that the "minimum" hasn't quite evolved with the times. And, as if plucked straight from a coming-of-age movie, nearly half of these minimum wage warriors are the youthful 16-to-24-year-olds, juggling dreams with the harsh reality of pocket change wages. It's a stark reminder that while youth may indeed be wasted on the young, a livable wage certainly should not be.

Minimum Wage and Poverty

  • The poverty rate for full-time minimum wage workers is 13.7%
  • A full-time minimum wage worker earns $15,080 annually at the federal rate
  • The 2023 poverty threshold for a single person is $14,580
  • Raising the minimum wage to $15 would lift 900,000 people out of poverty

Interpretation

While it may seem like a cruel joke to pay full-time minimum wage workers a salary that barely exceeds the poverty threshold, the statistics paint a stark reality. With 13.7% of full-time minimum wage workers living in poverty, it's clear that the current federal rate of $15,080 annually is woefully inadequate. However, there's a glimmer of hope on the horizon - raising the minimum wage to $15 could be the punchline that lifts 900,000 people out of poverty. The math speaks for itself, and perhaps it's time for policymakers to add a touch of wit to the serious business of addressing income inequality.

State Minimum Wages

  • 29 states and D.C. have minimum wages above the federal minimum wage of $7.25
  • California has the highest state minimum wage at $15.50 per hour
  • 5 states have no state minimum wage law
  • 21 states use the federal minimum wage of $7.25

Interpretation

While it's heartening to see some states breaking free from the shackles of the federal minimum wage, it's a bit concerning that there are still states out there apparently stuck in a time warp, clinging onto the measly $7.25/hour standard like it's a prized possession. California, ever the trendsetter, flaunts its $15.50/hour minimum wage like a luxury designer label. And let's not forget the rebel states that boldly declare, "No rules here!" Well, at least when it comes to setting a minimum wage. It's a mixed bag, really—some states soaring, some states stuck, and some states just dancing to their own beat.

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