Ten Years Without a Raise

The federal minimum wage has been stuck at $7.25 for ten years. That’s $290 a week, $15,000 a year. In that time, the cost of living has continued to climb, leaving millions of families working harder than ever, but falling behind.

We can do better. The Raise the Wage Act of 2019 would gradually raise the wage to $15 by 2024. This map illustrates how it would benefit nearly 40 million workers – 27 percent of the workforce. Read our full report.

A simple raise in the minimum wage would benefit millions

This map illustrates the percentages of workers who would benefit from a raise to $15. The darker the color, the higher the concentration of low-wage workers. Click “More maps” to see the impact on different demographic groups.


Percent of all workers likely to benefit by increasing the minimum wage to $15
Percent of each demographic group likely to benefit by increasing the minimum wage to $15

Notes

  1. Data by state: While the federal minimum wage has been stuck at $7.25 since 2009, many states and cities have increased the minimum wage. As the wage floor rises in an area, it lifts wages for most workers.

    These differences are reflected in the numbers of workers who would benefit from a raise to $15. For example, the minimum wage in California is $11 in 2019, and is increasing to $15 by 2024; this means that no workers would benefit from the raise in the federal minimum. (It does not, obviously, mean that no workers are earning low wages.) Some cities within California currently have a minimum of $15.

    For more information on state labor policies, visit oxfamamerica.org/statemap.

  2. Data on workers who benefit: “Directly affected workers” are those who would otherwise be paid less than $15 in 2024. “Indirectly affected workers” are those expected to have a wage rate just above the new minimum wage. They are likely to receive a raise as employer pay scales are adjusted upward to reflect the new minimum wage.

Sources

  • Data supplied by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). The EPI Minimum Wage Simulation Model uses data from the Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Congressional Budget Office.
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