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 information on how many people in each congressional district and state are among the ranks of the working poor and their families, how many low-wage workers draw on federal benefits, and how many workers and their family members would benefit from an increase in the federal minimum wage.
We define low-wages workers as those earning $11.50 per hour or less. ↩
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. ↩