Who the Minimum Wage Workers Are

Last week, Seattle’s City Council voted to raise the local minimum wage to $15 an hour, which would be phased in over the next four years.

While the president’s proposed plan to increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10 languishes in a divided Congress, the Upshot’s Jared Bernstein reports that as many as 34 states may propose minimum wage increases on their ballots this year. Who would benefit from an increase in the minimum wage? Bernstein looked at the numbers:

• The average age of minimum wage workers is 35, an a third are at least 40 years old.

• One in eight of minimum wage earners live in “high-income households” — households with incomes above $100K.

• More than half of minimum wage workers are women, and a majority are white.

• A national minimum wage increase would have the biggest effect in the South.

See other figures here.

Photo: Dennis Bocquet

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