Although the US is a wealthy country, tens of millions of workers today earn wages so low that they and their families are either poor or “near poor.”2 Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour would benefit more than 25 million workers, one-fifth of the nation’s workforce, as well as the family members who depend on their earnings.
This study provides, for the first time, information on how many people in each congressional district and state are among the ranks of the working poor, how many draw on federal benefits, and how many would benefit from an increase in the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.
Estimate of the number of workers currently earning wages between $7.25 and $11.50, the range likely to be affected by an increase in the federal minimum wage to $10.10. ↩
We use the common definition of “near poverty” of incomes between 100% and 200% of the federal poverty level. The number of “working poor” includes people in households with at least one worker whose wages are not enough to raise household income above the poverty level or 200% of poverty. ↩